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Right To Rent Fuelling Fake IDs

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Reports by the BBC, suggest Right To Rent Legislation is fuelling a growing market in fake IDs, enabling illegal migrants to gain access to housing.

The legislation has come under heavy criticism from many of those active in the sector, for effectively making agents and landlords act as immigration offices. The scheme was originally piloted in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 before being extended to the rest of England in February 2016.

Anyone who sublets or takes in lodgers can face a penalty fine of up to £3,000 per tenant if they are found to be letting property to someone who has no right to stay in the UK.

However, the BBC's programme, Inside Out, found it possible to buy counterfeit passports and National Insurance cards. These could then be presented to letting agents, who are unknowingly accepting them as proof of UK residency status.

Although the show acknowledged the fake documents were convincing, it was suggested they wouldn't withstand intense scrutiny.

The Home Office didn't respond to a BBC Freedom of Information request asking how many landlords had been criminally prosecuted or imprisoned as a result of the Right To Rent legislation.