The UK Home Office has announced that from 1 December 2014, landlords in some areas will need to check that tenants have a right to rent in the UK before letting a property to them.
The aim of this new immigration measure is according to the UK Minister for Security and Immigration, James Brokenshire, to address illegal immigration. The UK government will phase in the implementations of the new landlord requirements, and the new measures will commence in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell from 1 December 2014.
The UK Home Office said that it has convened a consultative panel, consisting of bodies representing landlords, letting agents, housing and homeless charities, local representatives and other parties. The panel will evaluate and considered as part of the decisions making process before further roll-out.
The UK Home Office said the new measures will apply to landlords of private residential property and new tenancy agreements. Landlords will not need to check the immigration status of existing tenants. In most cases a right to rent check just means checking that a prospective tenant has certain documents, such as a passport or biometric residence permit. Photocopies of these documents will have to be kept by the landlord, as prove that the check has been carried out.
In cases where the landlord is letting accommodation to a person with time-limited right to rent (persons with valid leave to remain for a limited period), the landlord will be required to do follow-up checks.
Where it was proven that the landlord has let accommodation to a person who does not have a right to rent, or if the landlord does not do follow-up checks in applicable cases, the landlord will be liable for a civil penalty.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the UK Home Office is cracking down on illegal immigrants in the UK. Do not overstay on your visa. Contact BIC today to discuss a legitimate route to live and work in the UK.
Director of BIC, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Limited.
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