MPs are being encouraged to ensure EU citizens with settled status can continue to rent a property in this country and find jobs post-Brexit.
The House of Commons will today vote on an amendment passed in the House of Lords to the EU Withdrawal Bill that would require EU citizens to be given a physical status document to prove their right to rent property and work in the UK.
But the Residential Landlords Association, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and the3million are warning that unless MPs accept the amendment it creates the risk of landlords and employers being reluctant, without immediate physical proof of their status, to let a home or offer a job to EU citizens.
Under the EU Settlement Scheme the government plans to give EU citizens a digital code to prove their residency for landlords and employers to look up online.
But research by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants on the government’s Right to Rent policy found that of 150 mystery shopping enquiries from prospective tenants who asked landlords to conduct an online status check, 85% received no response and only three responses explicitly stated that the landlord was willing to conduct an online check.
Landlords are generally happier to respond positively when the tenant could provide a clear physical document proving their status.
In a joint statement, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the3million and the Residential Landlords Association, said: “MPs should back what is a pragmatic and common sense proposal. It should not be controversial that EU citizens who have played such a positive role to the life of the UK should be able to easily prove their rights with a physical document.
“A digital-only status will massively disadvantage EU citizens against British nationals with a passport, and anyone else who can quickly and conveniently prove their status with a simple official document.”