Sarah Teather on landlord immigration checks: “I just foresee an enormous amount of misery”

Sarah TeatherSarah Teather was interviewed on The World at One about the Government’s plans to make landlords check an individual’s immigration status when they came to rent a property. She said that unless there were drastic changes to the plans, she couldn’t see herself voting for it and she said that Liberal Democrat MPs weren’t happy about it either.

She said she was worried that landlords would simply not bother to let their properties to people whose immigration status may be in doubt. She added that if the Government modelled this new system on the hotline for employers to check job applicants’ status, it would be a disaster. Apparently the hotline may not have the most up-to-date information and it’s not as though the landlord can check a passport as the Home Office will probably have it.

In a robust attack on the Conservative part of the Coalition, she said that this sort of measure was designed to create an enemy to distract from the economic situation, but that this would not solve any problems and would most likely make things worse.

She also attacked George Osborne’s plan to make job seekers wait a full week before they could claim benefits, remarking that it was much easier to look for a job if you and your family weren’t hungry.

You can listen to the whole interview here.

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3 Comments

  • 1. it is going to discriminate against, and make it more difficult for anyone who sounds or looks different, to be able to privately rent.
    2. it will cause delays for would be renters, leading to their housing problems and gaps in rent received by landlord, so put their costs and therefore future rent up.
    3. it will all take time and effort for landlord so that too will be reflected in higher rent,
    As Sarah says, none of this helps issues such as people getting a home and keeping rents down. I thought tories wanted to cut red tape!
    as for increasing the time before JSA can be claimed – another posting, but people will be having to spend time in long queues at such as CAB to get a referral to a foodbank – instead of “getting out there job hunting”
    and all of this is just practical before we get onto the ethics of humanity side of things

  • Eddie Sammon 2nd Jul '13 - 9:29pm

    Well said Suzanne and Sarah. We shouldn’t be getting private landlords to be doing the jobs of the police or border agencies.

  • Seasoned traveller 4th Jul '13 - 7:33am

    Do we really want to be like that bastion of liberalism, Singapore? If so, we can lift a lot more of their policies right off the shelf.

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