Europeans living in the UK could face discrimination from landlords unless the Government funds advice and outreach services, warns London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
European citizens have until 30th June 2021 to apply to the EU settlement scheme, but Khan fears once tougher immigration rules come in from 1st January there will still be huge uncertainty.
He blames a lack of clarity from ministers who haven’t explained how someone already resident in the UK will be able to prove their right to live, rent and work here without having obtained status by 31st December.
Khan believes many older and more vulnerable Europeans don’t know how to access or prove their eligibility for their right to rent.
A survey has shown that while 603,000 European Londoners don’t have five years’ continuous residence and need to convert their temporary pre-settled status to settled status in the coming years, the majority don’t know when and how to do this.
Time running out
The Mayor says with a month to go until the end of the transition period, time is running out for European Londoners.
He tells them: “Make sure that you and all your eligible family and friends have applied to the settlement scheme before Christmas. If not, I fear you could be a victim of discrimination – from a landlord, a potential employer or anyone else who fails to distinguish between your rights and those of people arriving under the tougher immigration rules starting from January.”
The new Right to Rent online checking service – launched last week – involves a prospective tenant giving permission to the landlord to view their Home Office immigration record by providing a ‘share code’ and has long been criticised for causing headaches for landlords.
Latest Home Office figures show that there were 60,300 outstanding applications for the EU settlement scheme being processed in London, showing the importance of submitting applications well in advance of the deadline.