Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Foreign Tenants May Get Frozen out; Victoria Whitlock Believes Measures to Clamp Down on Illegal Immigrants Will Make Landlords Wary of Accepting Non-EU rentersThe Accidental Landlord

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Foreign Tenants May Get Frozen out; Victoria Whitlock Believes Measures to Clamp Down on Illegal Immigrants Will Make Landlords Wary of Accepting Non-EU rentersThe Accidental Landlord

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

I'VE never thought of myself as racist, but I think from next year some landlords will be wary of letting to foreigners, or at least to anyone from outside the European Union. That's appalling, I know, but I think it's inevitable due to a new government scheme.

Personally I don't care whether my tenants come from Tooting or Timbuktu -- their nationality is no concern of mine. All that matters is that they pay their rent on time and behave themselves.

However, the Government's confirmation earlier this month that it intends to make landlords responsible for policing illegal immigration -- and fine or even imprison those of us who let to tenants who don't have a legal right to live in the UK -- will make many landlords less comfortable about taking tenants who require visas.

A Right to Rent scheme will be rolled out across England from 2016, which will mean that landlords will have to check that every tenant who doesn't have an automatic right to live here has a valid visa.

If we don't know whether they need a visa, or if we're unsure that the visa we are shown is valid, we will have to check with the Home Office, which will take a few days. That's not too onerous, assuming we are not duped into accepting a forgery.

What is more of a worry is that when our tenants' visas expire, or if their application for asylum is rejected, we will have to evict them.

To make it easier to boot out asylum seekers, the Home Office will issue landlords with a notice when their tenant's application has been rejected. This notice will allow the landlord to evict the tenant without the need to go through the usual lengthy and expensive process of obtaining a court order.

However, it hasn't said how landlords should go about evicting tenants whose visas have expired. …

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