Private tenants 'don't object to UK visa checks'

17 Sep 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The majority of tenants in private housing would not object to providing evidence of their right to live in Britain when renting, either by showing a UK visa or alternative documentation.

Research from the National Landlords Association (NLA) found that 82 per cent of people think that it is fair to ask tenants to provide evidence of their immigration status. A further 87 per cent said that they are personally happy to demonstrate their right to be in the country.

The research forms part of the NLA's response to the government consultation regarding methods of tackling illegal immigration. It confirmed that just 18 per cent of tenants were unwilling to share their immigration status with their landlord.

Carolyn Uphil, chairman of the NLA, commented on the findings: “It is reassuring that the majority of tenants are comfortable with the concept of expanded tenant checks, in particular immigration checks. Tenant checking is an essential process for assessing the potential risk of default and we advise all landlords to conduct such checks before granting a tenancy.

“However it is also somewhat concerning that 18 per cent of tenants do not want to share their immigration status with their landlord. It is essential that all tenants comply with the rules, when introduced. And if landlords are to be held responsible for non-compliance, they must not let property to those who refuse to follow the imminent legislation.”

The association highlighted the opportunities that landlords have to ensure the diversity of communities when renting their properties and urged the government to ensure that any changes to the system took into account the influence that the private rental sector has over communities.