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  • Landlords in Distress

    EU migrants - Right to Rent

    In light of the leave vote I seek advice as to how LL should consider existing and new EU migrants for the purposes of RTR

    Up til the leave vote a LL could be assured of their legal status in perpetuity to rent a property in the UK without the possibility of being deported.

    The leave vote and the refusal of the new Govt to confirm the legal status of existing EU migrants in the UK whether working or not calls into question their RTR status.

    Appreciating that it may well be some time before any pronouncements occur from Govt regarding EU migrant status LL must still have concerns on taking on such migrants on the basis that they prefer long term tenants who have the absolute legal right to remain in the UK.

    As it stands now any migrant holding an EU passport can be presumed to possess the RTR in the UK.

    With Govt reticence to confirm the legal status of EU migrants in the UK for understandable reasons on the basis that they wish to have a negotiating position for British Nationals in the EU how is it recommended that LL proceed when faced with an EU migrant tenant applicant and also for those EU migrants who have been in the UK for a certain period.

    It has been intimated that those EU migrants who have been resident in the UK for 5 years or more would all be allowed to remain and necessarily continue to have the RTR.

    What do the experts think!?

    I am in a bit of a quandary as many of my tenants are EU migrants who have not been here for 5 years.

    Should I be now actively giving priority to non-EU nationals?

    That essentially means British nationals only!!

    How do people consider LL should proceed with this current RTR quandary?



    I am saddened to see this post.

    The Government has sent out a very clear message that existing EU migrants have nothing to fear and there are no plans to change their status.

    Right to Rent checks should be carried out as per the original legislation.

    I for one would rather we focus on reality, not hyperbole.  

    See - Landlord sends goodwill message to EU tenants


    Yes I agree it may be hyperbole, but the trouble is Govt has NOT made a positive statement regarding the status of EU migrants

    For business purposes I need certainty as to the legal status of any EU migrant.

    If I do not receive that certainty I will be forced to rent to UK nationals only

    Now I would prefer this wasn't the case.

    But what else can I do?

    I don't want tenants who may have to leave in a few years time.

    So I raised the genuine queries as to what to do.

    I cannot second guess the Govt and this inevitably forces me to the safety position

    It seems it will take many years before Govt is prepared to confirm the legal status of migrants.

    Article 50 hasn't even been triggered yet and so we have what will probably be a long limbo period.

    I'm just trying to work out what should be an appropriate business response to this situation.

    I confess I am just not sure which is why I have posed the queries


    Even if we were to trigger Article 50 and leave it is an extended negotiation process of up to 2 years so I don't see that this is a crucial problem right now. It is also very unlikely that the government will actually be able to send away people who are already here. It is more likely than not to be a violation of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (which we are not leaving!).

    Additionally it would be unlawful discrimination to refuse someone solely on the basis that they were from the EU just as it would be unlawful to refuse a non-EU citizen for that reason.

    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.

    Totally disagree

    A LL is entitled to make a business decision based on the status of any prospective tenant

    Of course race, colour, creed, gender are definitely not allowed to be factored into any qualification process for a tenancy

    But the RTR and the period that RTR is for is definitely something a LL may choose to discriminate against.

    I am perfectly entitled to make a business decision to rent to someone who has the permanent RTR rather than a migrant who may only have a short period to rent.

    Currently I know that EU migrants have permanent RTR

    This may not be the case in the future

    I actively discriminate against any tenant prospect that DOESN'T have the permanent right to remain in the UK regardless of their ethnicity etc.

    Taking on new tenants is a costly business.

    I do not wish to be involved in tenant churn nor am I obligated to rent to any tenant prospect who will be leaving after a few months or whose status to remain is not guaranteed.

    LL discriminate legally ALL the time against tenants who only have a defined period to rent

    Other LL actively engage in that sort of sort of short term letting business

    I DON'T and never will!

    That is a business decision, just the same as I discriminate against HB tenants unless they can meet my letting requirements which none of them ever can.

    We must ensure that RTR is not muddled up with with normal discrimination

    Discriminating against tenants with short term RTR is legal.

    It is purely a business choice!

     Which is why I want to know how such EU migrants should be regarded.

    It seems that the received wisdom that nothing will change in the short term

    Therefore it seems I may confidently carry on renting to EU migrants in the knowledge that their RTR status will remain for the foreseeable future.

    So I have my answer which is what I was after

    Of course I will keep a watching brief on the leave process just incase Govt does enforce a cut off date for leave to remain etc.

    As has been suggested this scenario is unlikely to occur anytime soon, so I may carry on as before, which will be good news for I and my current and future EU tenants!!!


    I am 99% certain that whatever agreement is reached EU migrants that are here legally and have not been convicted of a criminal offense will be allowed to remain.


    It is not the EU migrants that are here now I'm concerned about.

    As you suggest their status will be guaranteed, especially those who have been here 5 years

    The status of newcomer EU migrant status is less certain.

    David Davis has intimated that beyond a cut off date yet to be decided or maybe it already has, for such EU migrants to be deported after that date unless qualifying for a work permit.

    This situation for me still raises doubts as to the status of some existing EU migrants and any recent or soon to arrive EU migrants.

    It is clear that if a date is announced in the future there will be a mass rush to enter the UK to obtain a NINO.

    Once obtained the migrant would return home having achieved their effective passport be able to enter the UK anytime in the future.

    So it is still doubtful that the status of all but the the most longstanding EU migrants will be assured.

    This situation therefore leaves me still cautious over taking certain EU migrants on

    It seems that nothing will change overnight and so it should be reasonably safe to carry on taking on EU migrant tenants.

    But as the Brexit negotiations eventually start things will hopefully become clearer.

    It is just something that LL will need to keep an eye on.


    Why are you even making this an issue?  Even in the worse case scenario any new EU tenancy you create now can run for a minimum of 2 years.

    Priority to British nationals and 'business decision', my foot.  More like created drama to stir the pot.


    Well no I don't see it as such

    I have been reliant on a stream of EU migrants for some time

    Essentially they all know eachother and are able to acces my rental accomodation without any issues as I have been easy on them regarding my normal requirements.

    So I understand why you may consider this a non-issue for the next 2 years; I like to be ahead of the curve!!!

    I just wanted to assess what I should be considering.

    It seems that curently I do not need to be too concerned.

    But of course I am thinking of the worse case scenario if my supplies of EU migrant tenants dry up!!

    I am sure that once mass uncontolled immigration ceases that there will be less demand for certain rental properties.

    To the point that it may be worth selling up before the migrant supply possibly  dries up.or I consider other types of tenants.

    It is all to do with a business decision; you are implying a racist agenda which I absolutely refute

    I just want to know whether the EU migrant supply will continue and whether existing EU migrants may stay

    So it is entirely a business decision!

    As for tenancies I am only allowed to offer 1 year tenancies due to my mortgage provider restriction.

    Therefore due to the uncertain nature of migrant status I will only be offering 6 month AST's and then a SPT.

    LL who rent to EU migrants have justified concerns as to the status of EU migrants and that is ENTIRELY a BUSINESS concern!

    I hope you are correct in your assessment; but I choose NOT to run my business on hope!!

    How you run yours is up to you!!


    There is no concern.

    EEA and Switzerland citizens have a full right to rent. Others have a right to rent if they have an adequate visa. This is statute law and might change only after we have left the EU.

    Letting only to UK citizensonly  on the basis on nationality, which is what is suggested here, is illegal.

    I would also think that whatever is said now by the government is partly posturing for future negotiations.

    (As an aside, people voted for Brexit, now we must deal with the fallout. No point in blaming the government for the consequences)


    You are incorrect it is perfectly legal to discriminate against a nationality if that nationality has restricted leave to remain.

    No LL is obligated to take on any tenant.

    LL make business decisions on whether a tenant is suitable

    So if an EU migrant has 6 months leave to remain and a British citizen has permanent RTR rights I would always make a BUSINESS decision to take on the British National due to a hoped for longer tenancy.

    Therefore many LL will make similar BUSINESS decisions.

    Obviously it is illegal to discriminate against a nationality which is really indirect discrimination on race, colour, creed and gender etc.

    But the period of time that a person may be allowed to rent in the UK is of critical importance to some LL and could well have an impact on future investment decisions.

    It is clear from other responses that we are a long way from having to be concerned about EU RTR

    For me that is gratifying to know and also for my existing EU migrant tenants.

    It would obviously greatly assist matters if the Govt would announce an absolute determination as to the status of EU migrants.

    Of course politics comes into the equation here and it something that LL will just have to keep an eye so as to respond quickly with amended BUSINESS decisions if EU migrant RTR status is changed.

    But then this EU migrant question is no different from any other aspect of the PRS, LL need to keep abreast of ALL issues that might affect PRS viability.

    I will be having a conversation with my EU migrant tenants that it seems they are secure for the present.

    I don't think it has really been appreciated by many in the PRS, but I contend that EU migrants have supported and led to a massive expansion of the PRS.

    I do consider that if there was a shrinking pool of migrants that there would start to become a surplus of rental property.

    Now this won't happen overnight, but I do believe that imperceptibly there will be a reduction in tenant demand as the UK achieves border control.

    It is a BUSINESS issue which LL need to be aware of!!