Right To Rent migrant checks: now agents and landlords face jail
Agents and landlords who fail to identify and evict tenants who are illegal immigrants face up to five years in jail according to government announcements revealed overnight.
Under the proposed scheme for landlords in England, the Home Office would issue a notice when an asylum application fails; that notice confirms the tenant no longer has the right to rent property.
This will trigger a power for landlords to end the tenancy, without a court order in some circumstances. Repeatedly failing to do either would be a new offence carrying maximum penalties of five years’ imprisonment or a fine.
A blacklist of rogue landlords and letting agents will allow councils to keep track of those who have been convicted of housing offences and ban them from renting out properties if they are repeat offenders.
Measures will also be introduced to crack down on landlords who exploit vulnerable migrants by renting out unfit flats and houses.
The measures will be included in the upcoming Immigration Bill, with the aim of making it more difficult for migrants to live in the UK after their visas have expired or applications for asylum have been rejected.
The announcements – which at this stage still lack some details – come as the government remains under pressure to take additional measures against migrants attempting to reach the UK through the Channel Tunnel.
A pilot Right To Rent project has been operating in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall.
Since December, landlords and agents in these areas have been required to check the immigration status of all new adult tenants, sub-tenants and lodgers entering into new tenancies to assess whether they have right to rent in the UK.
Section 20 to 37 of the Immigration Act 2014 contains provisions to make it compulsory for landlords to check the immigration status of all new adult tenants.
A failure to conduct the checks and to provide accommodation to those without leave to remain could lead to a penalty of £1,000 per tenant and £80 per lodger, rising to £3,000 and £500 for repeated offences by landlords or their agents.
Today’s announcements suggest much tougher penalties are on the way when Right To Rent rolls out across England and Wales.
If you are concerned about the issues highlighted in this article why not consider letting your property on Central Housing Group’s ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme. Our landlords are paid an agreed monthly Guaranteed Rent for the duration of the term of their contract regardless of their tenants’ immigration status or employment circumstances and regardless of whether their property is occupied or not.
Landlords – if you are worried about these ‘Right to Rent’ immigration checks why not consider our ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme because, when you let your property on our scheme, you will not be required to carry out immigration checks on your tenants, or liable to legal prosecution for failing to carry out adequate immigration checks on your tenants.
Consequently our landlords have complete peace of mind knowing they will not be impacted at all by any of the responsibilities or risks highlighted in this article.
If you are interested in finding our more about our ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme, currently operating in north, east & west London, please call us today on 020 8447 1222.