Under the new rules of the Immigration Act 2014, for immigration checks, landlords and property owners will be required to check the immigration status of tenants (and lodgers) in a move to create a ‘hostile environment’ for illegal migrants.
The new legislation will see landlords face fines if they rent homes to illegal immigrants without first checking their ‘right to rent’ Home Office
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire announced Wednesday the new measures in the Immigration Act would be launched in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton as part of a phased introduction across the country.
The trail will begin from 1st December 2014.
The new law will mean private landlords will have to check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country if they want to avoid potentially being fined up to £3,000.
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
“We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law.”
“The right to rent checks are quick and simple, but will make it more difficult for immigration offenders to stay in the country when they have no right to be here.”
“They will also act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out substandard, overcrowded and unsafe accommodation.”
“Landlords in the West Midlands will have all the advice and support they need in advance of the checks going live on 1 December.”
All Landlords taking on new tenants under the new regime will need to see evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, for example a passport or biometric residence permit.
The Home Office website says that many responsible landlords already do this as a matter of routine, and most legal renters will have the correct documentation ready to hand. In most cases landlords will be able carry out these simple checks without need to contact the Home Office.
Copies of the tenant’s documentation will need to be taken as evidence the checks have been carried out and retained for one year after the tenancy ends.
To avoid accusation of discrimination, when the scheme comes in landlords will need to screen all applicants in the same way, whether they are UK or foreign nationals. The secret is consistency, transparency and documentary evidence when doing these checks.
Children under 18 will be exempt.
Following the trial an evaluation of the implementation in the West Midlands will be made next spring. The Home Office then expects to continue with the phased introduction of checks across the UK next year.
The Immigration Act 2014, which became law earlier this year, aims to build on the government’s on-going reforms to stop illegal migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, and reduce “pull factors” which encourage people to come to the UK for the wrong reasons.
More information about how to carry out a right to rent check is available online at:
Right to Rent: Landlords’ Code of Practice:
Right To Rent – On-Line Checks Form
A helpline (0300 069 9799) is also available.
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) September 3, 2014