The Right To Rent pilot project has forced letting agents and landlords into ‘increased racial profiling’ according to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.
The policy - trialled in the West Midlands since late last year and set to be expanded when the Immigration Bill goes before parliament this autumn - led to checks on those who "appeared foreign" according to a JCWI report just released.
The JCWI survey of the policy was conducted between December and July, covered agents, landlords, tenants and lodgers, and analysed 76 responses.
Some tenants had been charged handling fees for agents or landlords to carry out mandatory checks while in other cases the costs were passed on through rent or deposit increases.
The JCWI says the trial was conducted during the "quietest seasonal period for new private residential lettings" so the impact of rules at a busier time could not be foreseen.
"Our evaluation shows direct discrimination by landlords against those legally here, but with complicated or unclear immigration status. These checks are leading to increased racial profiling" claims Saira Grant, the JCWI's legal and policy director.
The full report is hefty - there are 69 pages - and you can see it here.
The Right To Rent proposals have provoked outrage across the industry.