Measures announced in last week's
Queen's Speech will place extra pressure on private landlords, as
they will now be obliged to vet tenants, due to
changes to the rules on immigration.
The Speech, which has stirred up considerable controversy, will
make landlords liable for checking the immigration status of their
potential tenants - a process which could prove extremely
As a result, nearly all major national letting bodies have
spoken out against the measures. The sole exception is Caroline
Kenny of UKALA, who has offered her support for the changes. She
said: "This is a logical step and one that will be positively
received by the industry, demonstrating better regulation within
the private rented sector.
RLA and RICS question Queen's Speech
Meanwhile Richard Jones, the RLA's policy director, said:
"Whilst the RLA fully supports measures to ensure everyone in the
UK is legally allowed to be here, the announcement smacks of
political posturing rather than a seriously thought through
"The proposal will not work in practice. Employers have been
required to make similar checks but it has made no real difference
to the numbers of illegal immigrants in the country."
"For a government committed to reducing the burden of
regulation, it is ironic that they are now seeking to impose a
significant regulatory burden on landlords, making them scapegoats
for the UK Border Agency's failings."
Stephen Thornton, director of external affairs at the RICS, also
made it clear that he did not feel that landlords should be
responsible for enforcing immigration policy: "The Government has
stubbornly refused to look at introducing better laws to protect
both landlords and tenants - it is unacceptable that it expects the
property industry to deliver its immigration policy."