Almost half of private landlords say the Right to Rent scheme has made them less likely to let to those without a UK passport.
About 17% of UK citizens do not have a passport, meaning they could inadvertently lose out under the immigration checks, according to the research carried out by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The proportion of landlords less likely to consider letting to people who are currently outside the UK is 51%. With uncertainty still surrounding the status of EU nationals in the UK, 22% of landlords have said that they are less likely to rent property to nationals from the EU or the European Economic Area.
Many of the landlords surveyed said they were less likely to rent to people who cannot produce a British passport because they feared criminal sanctions if they were tricked by false documents.
With landlords concerned about the potential of criminal sanctions if they make a mistake, the RLA is supporting an application for a judicial review of the Right to Rent policy by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and will be taking part alongside the JCWI as an interested party. It is doing so on the basis that it discriminates against those who cannot easily prove their status, even if they have the right to rent property.
RLA policy director, David Smith, said: “These figures show the damage that the right to rent scheme is causing for those who might have the right to rent property, but cannot easily prove their identity.
“The added threat of criminal sanctions is clearly leading many landlords to become even more cautious about who they rent to.
“This is a dangerous and divisive policy that is causing discrimination. It must be scrapped.”