New law brought in by the government last year placed a duty on residential landlords to establish tenants had a right to abode in Great Britain before letting property to them, with the threat of a fine if they failed to do so. 

The purpose of this legislation was to try and assist with illegal immigration. However, as the article below highlights, Britons who do not have a passport are finding it increasing difficult to find accommodation, as landlords fear criticism and the risk of financial penalty if they don't obtain documentation.

I do wonder if both tenants and landlords are under-informed on the requirements. The government's guidance states that the provision of an original birth certificate by the tenant, if a passport is not available, will be sufficient to establish right to abode.

However, these findings are a concern that the new requirements brought in are adding another layer of problems for landlords, who on top of worries about tenants potentially not paying rent, also have to worry about possibly carrying out checks on their tenants, which will inevitably take time and cost money.  Landlords are therefore more likely to play it safe and only seek to rent to certain categories of tenants, creating potential housing issues for those individuals not fortunate enough to fall into those categories.