Landlord migration checks may lead to homelessness and destitution

January 6, 2016

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) warns that, private landlords faced with the potential scale of the task and the threat of a fine or even a jail sentence for failing to carry out immigration status checks, may simply discriminate against anyone they believe isn’t British, even if they have a legal right to live in the UK.


At least 2.6 million people a year could be subject to new immigration checks when the government’s ‘right to rent’ scheme is rolled out across England next month (February).

CIH analysis of the English Housing Survey has revealed that approximately 2.6 million adults moved into and within the private rented sector in 2013-14.  CIH said the number of people who will be subject to the new checks each year could easily be double that figure, based on a conservative estimate that each letting will involve two households being checked.

Right to rent means that England’s 1.8 million private landlords will be required to check prospective tenants’ immigration status from 1 February – and due to increased penalties for non-compliance proposed in the Immigration Bill they could now face a jail sentence for getting it wrong.

CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat said: “For many people, private renting is the only option, and if this is removed homelessness and destitution may follow.”

Download the CIH press release below.