There are proposals afoot to make landlords check the immigration status of new tenants:
Private landlords will be required to check the immigration status of new tenants under government proposals being launched in a consultation today.
The government also plans to introduce proportionate penalties for those who make a single honest mistake, and much heavier penalties, up to £3,000 per tenant, for rogue landlords who repeatedly and deliberately break the law.
Just as requiring employers to conduct these sort of checks creates a cash-in-hand economy within immigrant communities, expecting the same of landlords will result in this:
‘UKALA (letting agents) is deeply concerned that the Bill’s requirements will further restrict access to housing for people from outside of the UK, or with non-standard requirements. Many areas of the UK have very competitive lettings markets and it is entirely conceivable that landlords will instruct agents to favour those tenants they perceive as ‘low risk’.
So where do those high risk tenants go? Here, from Ben Reeve Lewis is an indication:
A couple of weeks back a landlord came to me with a quandary. He had let his 3 bed, Deptford flat @ £1,600 per month to two guys. They have been there 2 years and never missed a penny in rent, so he doesn’t have a problem.
Total received? £38,400 and very nice too.
He decided to visit the property for a genial chat and catch up with his model tenants, only to find 11 other people living there. I went with him on a return visit for a chat and ascertained that each sub-tenant paid £350 per month to the landlord’s official tenants, giving a grand total income to them of £92,400
Deduct his lawful rent payments and his tenants had made, from the sub tenancy £54,400 in two years.
Add people renting out sheds and garages - even inaccessible basements - and you have a proposal that will do nothing to reduce immigration but will make life more miserable for thousands of those ordinary hard-working families (the ones who've travelled half way across the world to do the hard work). And lucrative for criminals.