The Government’s new Code of Practice on illegal immigrants and rented property is asking landlords to do the Home Office’s job, without training or compensation. Ezylet asks what the hell is going on.
A new working draft of the Government's Code of Practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation is putting legal responsibility for checking immigrants' "right to rent" firmly at the feet of ordinary landlords.
Naturally, landlords won't be trained how to do the Home Office's job for them. If you're a landlord, you won't be compensated for your time and effort either.
So what's the point?
MI5: Landlord Division
Well, it can't really be counter-terrorism. Although in the current climate of fear, the Government would have us believe this is all part of a clever strategy to keep Britain safe.
But do landlords really know how to spot forged passports and visas? Here at Ezylet we talk to a lot of great landlords, but we don't know any that trained with MI5. We do know a good scapegoat when we see one though.
Keep ‘em out!
It surely can't be about solving the UK's net immigration problem either. As a landlord, you'll be expected to check tenants' eligibility on an ongoing basis.
Again though, without proper training this is just won’t work. Landlords' own fears about meeting the code – which are totally justified - will lead to a raft of worried reports to authorities. Many of these are likely to be a waste of time and money, both for landlords and the Home Office.
Just another vote catcher
So what are we left with? A box-ticking exercise.
An expensive, time-consuming box-ticking exercise at that. One that, if you're a landlord, could land you in hot water over something you aren’t really qualified to do.
Here at Ezylet, we hope the new Code of Practice wins the Government a boost in the polls. Because it sure as dammit won’t solve our immigration and terrorism problems.
In all seriousness, we hope the working draft isn’t written into law – because it’s unmanageable, unworkable, and just plain unfair to landlords.