Brexit confusion could hit EU tenants in the UK, landlords say
Despite Brexit confusion, there will be problems for EU citizens when looking for rentals in the UK.
This will be as a result of Brexit, according to the private homeowners.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) noted that Brexit will lead to confusion.
The confusion will make many house owners avoid letting properties to EU citizens.
This is because the government did not provide distinctive instructions over the settled status scheme.
It is worthwhile to remember that the scheme was only introduced last week.
Generally, this will lead to problems for many EU renters.
The property owners are not in tune with all the details of the Brexit.
Also, Theresa May or government ministers did not provide details in the settled status scheme.
Therefore, the homeowners may be unable to understand the details of the scheme.
Effects of the right-to-rent rules
The government introduced right-to-rent rules three years ago.
The rules will fine landlords if they let their properties to illegal immigrants.
To be specific, they are to pay a fine of as much as £5,000 for an adult tenant.
Along with the right-to-rent rules, Brexit was affecting the rental market already.
Recently, RLA filed a case against the right-to-rent rules in sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014.
The government, Joint Council for the Welfare Immigrants (JCWI) and Liberty were the defendants.
Fortunately, the RLA won the case.
According to the judge, the right-to-rent rules promoted discriminations of people racially.
Consequently, the RLA wants the government to provide distinctive guidelines on the rules.
If publishing of such guidelines will be of advantages for landlords.
The guidelines will offer tips for landlords on renting to EU citizens.
In fact, it will help house owners know who qualifies as EU citizens.
Undoubtedly, it is the right of EU citizens to stay in the UK.
However, if the UK leaves the EU, they must apply for settled status by December 2020.
If the UK reaches an agreement with the EU, application for settled status extends till June 2021.
Court case on the right-to-rent rules
Nevertheless, the RLA feels that there is discrimination involved in the settled status system.
This is in line with the conclusion of the high court judge last month.
The judge noted that the government forced landlords to check the immigration status of prospective renters.
As a result, landlords are discriminating individuals who have the right to rent in the UK.
JCWI conducted a survey on the phenomenon.
The survey showed that 51% of homeowners would probably not rent to individuals from outside the EU.
Also, 18% of the landlords would not let their properties to EU citizens.
Another concern of the RLA has to do with the decision of the Home Office.
This decision involves a refusal to issue cards to EU nationals to give to their landlords.
The cards would serve as clearance on their right to rent in the UK.
Landlords rather need to get settled status number of EU nationals on the Home Office website.
This decision deters many landlords from renting homes to EU tenants.
Actions to find a solution
According to the Home Office, there will be a meeting with landlords’ representatives.
Holding this month, the meeting will give details of the publishing of the instructions.
The statement noted that no change is needed.
Landlords still have to check the status of EU renters before letting out their homes.
However, they do not need retrospective checks for existing renters.
Also, there is no discrimination for EU nationals who have been leaving in the country before or after Brexit.
Basic Landlord Obligations
Landlord-tenant laws regulate landlord obligations, rights, and relationships with their tenants.
There are differences in the laws in each state, but some rules and obligations are universal.
The five fundamental landlord obligations for each house owner are:
- Security Deposit
- Disclosure of Owner
- Delivering Possession of the Unit
An obligation to handle security deposit
The security deposit is the basis of the first landlord obligation.
It is within the right of each landlord to charge a security deposit.
However, the homeowner does not own the deposit.
It offers advantages for landlords.
This is because it is a type of security that covers the landlord.
One of the tips for landlords is that they must adhere to the state and national regulations.
They must be in tune with regulations for the security deposit.
For example, some states have a limit for the deposit.
A landlord must never exceed the limit.
Another thing is about how to store the deposit.
When to refund the deposit, and what must be done if the property is sold.
Failure to adhere to these regulations can attract some legal consequences.
An obligation to disclose the owner
The landlord obligation is to disclose essential sets of information about the property owner.
The signer of the lease agreement is responsible for disclosing the owner’s information.
What information should be disclosed?
This includes the name and address of the homeowner.
Alternatively, the person doing rent collections, repairs or other things in the house may replace the owner.
How should the information be disclosed?
The disclosure should come in a written form.
Also, it should come before the start of the tenancy.
If any modifications are in the disclosure, notifications must be sent to the tenant.
What is the essence of the disclosure?
The essence of the disclosure is to allow the renter to understand the person.
To get in touch for maintenance needs, rent collections, and various legal problems.
The individual collecting the rent will be responsible for managing all issues.
Regarding the rental property if the owners’ information is not disclosed.
An obligation for delivering possession of the unit
Property owners also must offer possession of the apartment to the renter.
The unit must be vacant for the renter on or before the agreed move-in date.
If the landlord fails to do this, the tenant has the right to seek legal assistance.
If the tenant houses a squatter or any person who is not legally staying in the apartment.
Besides, it is within the right of the homeowner to seek legal action.
This is a tip for house owners as they can get compensation for damages.
An obligation for maintaining the unit
A property owner has an obligation to maintain the property for the renters.
This obligation includes ensuring that the rental is safe, livable, and clean.
Besides, it is important for the homeowner to oversee all essential repairs.
However, they should take care of common areas and services like electricity and plumbing.
Similarly, there should be adequate provision for running water and trash receptacles.
Obligations for adhering to the limitation of liability
A homeowner’s obligation is to adhere to the landlord-tenant laws.
Otherwise, the manager and the tenant must duly inform in a written form.
The new owner must adhere to the lease agreement.
As regards the security deposit of the renter, the landlord can do one of these two things:
- Send written notification to the tenant and give the deposit to the new landlord.
- Give the security deposit to the renter after removing all allowable deductions.
Are you an EU citizen who needs to rent a home in the UK?
Do you need any real estate assistance in the UK?
Speak to us today at Reneza for tailor-made solutions.