EU citizens may face problems getting rented accommodation in the UK after Brexit due to a lack of guidance for landlords about the implications of leaving the European Union for the Right to Rent scheme, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The government has not yet published any advice for landlords on how to prepare for Brexit, reflecting wider chaos as the Prime Minister continues to proceed with no clear plan.
The controversial Right to Rent scheme, which requires landlords in England to check the immigration status of their tenants, was recently branded a farce by the RLA.
Now, with two thirds of all EU nationals in the country living in private rented housing, the RLA is concerned that landlords have received no specific guidance about their status, other than sweeping statements by ministers.
Last month, a High Court Judge ruled that the right to rent scheme breached the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it led to inadvertent discrimination against non-UK nationals with the right to rent.
The RLA’s most recent research suggests that around a fifth of landlords are less likely to rent to nationals from the EU or the European Economic Area as a result of the Right to Rent, a figure the RLA warns could increase after Brexit.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “Landlords are not border police and cannot be expected to know who does and who does not have the right to live here.
“The government needs to publish clear and practical guidance for landlords about the implications of Brexit on who they can and cannot rent to. If they do not, more landlords will become increasingly fearful about renting to non-UK nationals with the potential of facing prosecution.
“The result will be they will avoid renting to anyone who is not a UK national making life difficult for EU nationals.”