Landlords call for Rent to Rent to be suspended
Landlords are calling for the Government's Right to Rent scheme to be suspended as the Home Office reconvenes its stakeholder panel.
It's doing so after appeals from the Residential Landlords' Association for the government to re-examine the controversial policy and how it impacts the private rental sector.
The RLA says the policy is leading to 'indirect discrimination'.
The Right to Rent scheme makes a landlord responsible for checking a tenant's immigration status and they face prosecution if they 'know or have reasonable cause' in believing the tenant doesn't have a legal right for living in the UK.
Landlords forced to act as a 'border police force'
The RLA says that landlords are being forced to act as a 'border police force' and they are increasingly playing it safe when renting out homes.
The RLA's policy director, David Smith, said: "We welcome news that the Home Office wants to engage with us, we want them to take bold action.
"Tenants who are entitled legally to live in the country are struggling to prove so and we say it's time to suspend the unfair scheme."
The RLA says that 42% of landlords are less likely to rent their property to someone who does not have a British passport because they fear being prosecuted for getting things wrong.
In conjunction with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the organisation say that Right to Rent discriminates against foreign nationals and those who cannot prove they have a legal right to live in the UK.
Growing numbers of landlords screen tenants via social media
Meanwhile, it's been revealed that there's been a surge in landlords using social media to screen a potential tenant.
The findings come from Foundation Home Loans who found that 11% of landlords use popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter as the first port of call to give an insight into a potential tenant.
The data that can be gleaned from social media include career and job history, through to the tenant's lifestyle and friends.
The survey also found that 29% of landlords choose to interview a tenant before deciding whether they are the right person for their property and 34% use personal references.
Foundation Home Loans, Jeff Knight said: "Buy to let is a business and it's natural for landlords to vet potential tenants - just as an employer would vet a potential employee.
“While social media accounts may not be the best source of information, they can offer invaluable insights when set against other checks such as credit checks and personal references."