MPs have challenged the Immigration Minister over Right to Rent and how the new measures proposed in the Immigration Bill could criminalise innocent landlords.
Concerns have been raised in Parliamentary committee about criminalising landlords through commission or omission when taking on new tenants under the Right to Rent legislation.
At a meeting of the Immigration Bill committee in Parliament on Monday this week, MPs challenged Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire MP, over discrimination, the criminalisation of landlords and the retrospective nature of the changes proposed in the forthcoming Immigration Bill.
In scrutinising the Government’s latest immigration proposals MPs used the Residential Landlord’s Association (RLA) background briefings written by policy director, David Smith, who gave evidence to the committee last week. Mr Smith wrote to all the committee members calling on them to support an amendment that would give some protection from prosecution for renting to a person without a right to rent.
The Bill, as it is currently drafted, the RLA say, “…would mean that as soon as a landlord receives a notice from the Secretary of State that a tenant does not have a right to rent they would automatically be committing a criminal offence”.
This, it seems, is despite the Bill requiring landlords to give such tenants 28 days’ notice to leave the property under the proposed eviction procedure.
The RLA has also highlighted concerns over an amendment that could mean all tenancies covered by right to rent checks, rather than only new tenancies agreed after 1st February.
David Smith wrote:
“As previously noted in correspondence to members of the committee the RLA has serious concerns about the potential chaos and confusion of all tenants potentially having their immigration status checked at the same time. We therefore believe that a phased approach whereby tenants are checked as and when tenancies are up for renewal or created in the first place would be a much better approach.”
MPs Challenge Immigration Minister over Right to Rent – https://t.co/wHcxXarJYF
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) November 6, 2015