Can a Landlord Refuse to Rent to Someone Based on Their Nationality?

It is illegal for a landlord or agent to discriminate against you because of your disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race (including ethnicity and nationality), gender, sexual orientation, religion, or beliefs. You must not discriminate against any person because of the type of right to rent check required. For example, a British or Irish citizen may decide that they do not want to use an IDSP for digital identity document verification and choose to prove their right to rent using a physical document. Under the Race Relations Act, it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant on racial grounds.

The law defines racial motives as race, color, nationality, or ethnic or national origin. Your landlord or leasing agent will ask you to see your immigration or passport documents when you start or renew your tenancy. You will also be asked to see the documents of any other adult living with you. They do this to prove that you have the right to live in the UK and to rent, which is called a “right to rent check”.If you have the right to rent in the UK, the landlord cannot refuse to rent to you because of race or nationality, for example.

First, the owner of the rental property could not reject a lease application or treat the tenant unfairly based on any disabilities they may have. This disability may be existing or you have recovered from. Article 6 of the Equality Act states that a person has a disability if they have “a physical or mental disability” and the disability has substantial, long-term adverse effects on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Landlords must also ensure that the tenant's right to occupy does not expire during the term of the lease. Landlords should not treat a potential tenant more or less favourably if they have the required combination of documents proving their right to rent (for example, a driver's license with a long UK birth certificate) but don't have a passport.

Before you can rent a property, you'll need to provide information and documents that prove you'll be a good tenant. The Landlord Check Service will respond to the landlord within two business days, indicating if the potential occupant has a “right to rent”, if it will be necessary to double-check and, if so, when. This means that landlords cannot, for example, rent their properties only to people who have digital proof and refuse to carry out manual checks on those who do not have access to the Ministry of the Interior's online billing service. If you have a visa or residence permit for more than one year, the landlord must do a follow-up check when your license ends. The controls are intended to do nothing other than restrict illegal migrants' access to rented housing.

For example, if you have a policy of not hiring people with certain jobs, this can be illegal discrimination if those jobs are invariably performed by people of a particular race or religion. While landlords have historically expressed concerns about an easier environment for rent arrears to accumulate, their historic blanket ban on DSS tenants can no longer be maintained. The landlord must contact the Landlord Verification Service, who will let you know if you have the “right to rent” and provide you with the correct documents. Subject to business requirements, landlords should try to keep the housing offer open so that the potential tenant has the opportunity to submit documents that prove their right to rent. If the Home Secretary notifies the landlord that a single occupant or all of the occupants of a joint tenancy are not entitled to rent, the occupier is no longer protected against eviction under the Protection against Eviction Act 1977. If the agent informs the landlord that a tenant has no right to rent before entering into the lease, the landlord will be responsible. The Right to Rent Plan (the Plan) was launched in order to guarantee that only individuals who are legally in Britain can access private rental housing and tackle unscrupulous landlords who exploit vulnerable migrants in precarious conditions. If you don't possess any documents because you're waiting for an immigration decision from Home Office authorities, ask your landlord to request a “right to rent” check from Home Office. In conclusion, it is illegal for landlords and agents in Britain not only reject lease applications based on disabilities but also discriminate against tenants due their race or nationality.

Landlords must contact Landlord Verification Service in order verify if potential tenants have “right to rent” and provide them with necessary documents. If Home Secretary notifies landlord that tenant does not possess right to rent then occupier is no longer protected against eviction under Protection against Eviction Act 1977.

Alexa Frisino
Alexa Frisino

Subtly charming web junkie. Incurable zombie nerd. Friendly bacon enthusiast. Avid food lover. Avid social media fan.

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