Fines could be on the Cards for Landlords Renting to Illegal Immigrants
It is widely covered in the media that the coalition government is looking at ways to reduce the number of illegal immigrants living within the UK. Recent proposals, which could be implemented as soon as 2014, have outlined that private landlords are to be required by law to check their tenants’ immigration status.
Any landlord who does not make the correct checks could receive fines of up to £3000 per adult illegal immigrant living within their property.
Importantly, the check will be required at the very start of the tenancy and will be needed on all adults living at the property – not just the person signing the tenancy agreement.
The landlord will need to see original documentation of a passport, visa or residents permit, and retain a copy of this both during and after the tenancy agreement. This could be for anything up to 12 months.
It is worth pointing out, that landlords will not be held responsible for any documents that prove to be forgeries, unless of course they are very clearly seen to be so. If the landlord is not provided with the necessary documents for all the adults living in the property, they must not rent the accommodation.
Letting agents will also need to be aware that they will be liable for the checks, and thus the penalties, instead of the landlord.
If the tenancy is later renewed and a fresh agreement drawn, then checks will need to be made once again at this point. However, landlords will not need to retrospectively check their existing tenants when the new law comes into effect which is expected at some point next year.
If you are a landlord needing advice then call Philip Oke on 01752 203517 or email Philip.email@example.com.