Scottish organisations take a stand on landlord immigration checks

The government is set to introduce new legislation that will require landlords to carry out checks on the immigration status of their tenants.

However several prominent organisations have signed a joint statement opposing these new regulations due to strong concerns over the potential for discrimination against vulnerable groups - such as the homeless or those fleeing domestic abuse.

The Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter Scotland, Crisis, the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, the Scottish Association of Landlords, and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations have all signed a joint statement to make their positions clear on the new laws due to be introduced later this year.

Gary Christie, acting chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC), said that this was "symptomatic of a needless and persistent negativity in asylum and immigration legislation".

John Blackwood, Scottish Association of Landlords chief executive, said: "The duty will lead to discriminatory practices against prospective tenants from minority or vulnerable backgrounds who are suspected of lacking or who actually don't have the required documentation."

Widely criticised as trying to push the responsibilities of the immigration authorities onto landlords, this legislation has received much resistance in Scotland. While it’s currently looking to go ahead, many hope that speaking out against it will delay and possibly stop it in its tracks.