Steeper fines for landlords flouting Right to Rent rules in England come into force on 22nd January.
Although there is no change to the way checks are carried out, a new Code of Practice brings in higher maximum fines for non-compliance, replacing the previous version from March 2022.
Agents and landlords who allow rental properties to be let to migrants who do not have the right to be in the UK will face much larger financial penalties.
Those who knowingly rent properties will be fined up to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for a first breach - up from £80 per lodger and £1,000 per occupier. Repeat breaches could cost them up to £10,000 per lodger and a maximum of £20,000 per occupier - up from £500 and £3,000.
Under the Immigration Act 2014, landlords must prevent people without legal immigration status from renting homes.
This means they must check that someone has the right to rent before letting a property to them by either checking documents manually, using Identity Document Validation Technology via the services of an Identity Service Provider or using the Home Office online system.
The updated code also includes lists of the documents that are considered acceptable for conducting a manual Right to Rent check - and consequently establishing a statutory excuse. There is also guidance about how to check these documents and how to copy them.
Last summer, the government revealed that landlords had been hit with more than 320 civil penalties worth a total of £215,500 since the start of 2018 when its Right to Rent rules were first introduced.