Tenant News

EU Citizens Could Face Repeat of Windrush Scandal Post-Brexit, Says RLA

Rose Jinks - October 10, 2018

EU citizens living in the UK are at risk of facing some of the same difficulties caused for the Windrush generation by a lack of legal certainty around their status after Brexit, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The RLA has written to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, demanding that EU citizens are provided with a hard copy document to prove their status to avoid confusion over their Right to Rent in the UK post-Brexit.

The association, which has joined forces with campaign group ‘the3million’, a grassroots movement set up to give a voice to the three million EU citizens living in the UK, has long maintained that the policy could lead to indirect discrimination, with landlords, forced to act as what it describes as ‘border police’, likely to play it safe when it comes to renting out their homes, especially in light of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Research by the RLA’s research division PEARL last year found that, as a result of the Right to Rent policy, 42% of landlords are now less likely to rent to someone without a British passport for fear of prosecution for getting things wrong.

The letter was signed by RLA Policy Director, David Smith and Nicolas Hatton, Chief Executive of the 3 million.

It reads: “Without issuing a clear and understandable hard copy document to those whose rights would be protected, there is a very real danger of a repeat of the difficulties caused for many in the Windrush generation who were in the country legally but unable to easily prove it.

“Such a document must be issued now so that, as tenancies come up for renewal between now and next March, landlords can be confident that they can continue to let to EU citizens, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

It continues: “Without issuing a clear and understandable hard copy document to those whose rights would be protected, there is a very real danger of a repeat of the difficulties caused for many in the Windrush Generation who were in the country legally but unable to easily prove it.

“Such a document must be issued now so that, as tenancies come up for renewal between now and next March, landlords can be confident that they can continue to let to EU citizens, even in the event of a no deal Brexit.”