The Right To Rent immigration control scheme introduced by the government in England last February is not having the “desired effect”, the National Landlords Association says.
The comments come from its head of policy Chris Norris in reaction to figures released today showing that one landlord is being fined every four days under the Right to Rent rules.
Sixty-two landlords received penalties under the scheme during its first eight months of operation from February to September last year, the figures show.
Fines totalling £37,000 were handed out, or £596 on average per landlord, although fines in theory can reach £3,000 for the most serious cases.
Out of the 62 cases 36 were for lodgers in private houses and 26 were handed to landlords of private rented accommodation. The figures were obtained by the Press Association through a Freedom of Information request.
Chris Norris, head of policy at the National Landlords Association (pictured, left), says he believes that most of the landlords involved are accidentally breaking the immigration rules rather than knowingly doing it.
He also said that “ultimately this scheme should be judged on whether it tackles or prevents those who knowingly ignore the law and let to people who are in the UK illegally, but so far there’s little evidence to suggest it is having the desired effect”.
A government spokesperson said: “Right to Rent deters people from staying in the UK when they have no right to do so. We regularly meet with representatives from the private rented sector, such as local authorities, landlords and housing charities, to discuss and monitor the scheme.”
Separate figures published by referencing company Rent4Sure show also reveal today that the most common nationalities seeking rented accommodation in England are those from India, Romania and Italy, followed by those from Spain and the US.
The company, which processes 30,000 tenant references every month, says 7% of all its tenant applicants were foreign nationals.
“If we want to continue offering a warm welcome to people from across the world, the Government must work with landlords and letting agents to enable the buy-to-let sector to thrive and remain an asset to the UK economy, at the same time as providing the right types of property to serve everyone in the UK market,” says Rent4Sure director Luke Burton (pictured, right).