Changes to landlords checking immigration status of tenants
Ministers have today been forced to make changes to the plans announced by David Cameron in March 2013 to force landlords to check the immigration status of tenants. It is now widely recognised that the whole idea was unworkable, it was claimed today.
The original policy, announced by David Cameron, planned to make two million private buy-to-let landlords and letting agents check the immigration status of their tenants. The Government planned to fine landlords for renting properties to illegal immigrants or failing to carry out the tests.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles today started backtracking the plans over fears the Government will face even more humiliating legal challenges. Mr Pickles latest idea is to introduce the plans in only ‘high-risk areas’ where there is a large ethnic minority population. Quite how this new plan will be rolled out is itself open to question. Our view is that by targeting areas that high levels of ethnic minority populations the plans are initially potentially racist and should face challenge under the Race Relations Act. As yet there is no definition of what the Government means when they refer to a ‘high risk area’.
Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn said the Government plans were “unravelling.”
He said: “Ministers simply don’t have a clue when it comes to detail, and their policy on this is unravelling”.
We say the plans are another perfect example of headline grabbing anti-immigrant Government propaganda which is quickly sidestepped when it comes to actually framing it within the law and respecting basic tenets Human Rights.