Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
This is the 8th post in my 2017 Legal Update series.
Ever since 1 February 2016 (or 1 December 2014 for landlords around Birmingham) landlords and agents in England have had to check whether the people who will be occupying their properties have a ‘right to rent’ in the UK.
It has caused a lot of worry and work all round and there is a question mark over its effectiveness – as it appears that few people have actually been deported as a result.
Indeed, moves are afoot to challenge the expansion of the regulations to Wales and Scotland.
However, in England we are stuck with them. With Brexit, it is unlikely that they are going to be rescinded any time soon. So, what do they involve?
The main thing for landlords and agents to appreciate is that your job is not to catch illegal immigrants for the Home Office (that’s their job) but to make sure that you have complied with the regulations so you can’t be fined or prosecuted.
So, you need to:
As you are probably aware there has been a new Immigration Act which came into force in December 2016. There are two aspects of this you need to know about:
You probably don’t need to worry too much about the criminal penalties. These are really aimed at criminal landlords such as those who deal with people trafficking, rather than ordinary landlords who happen to have made a mistake. Still the criminal penalties are there, so best not to make any mistakes!
It is unlikely that you will actually have to use these procedures if you do your checks properly but it’s a good idea to know that they exist.
Our 2017 Conference Course includes a ½ hour talk on right to rent from Immigration expert Sue Lukes where she talks though the regulations and how they work and explains all the new rules in some detail.
This is a really useful talk to bring yourself and your staff (if you have any) up to date. It will also be useful for new staff as part of your induction process.
You will find more information about the Conference Course here.
There is also a right to rent section on my Landlord Law membership site, with forms and FAQ plus members can also ask me ‘quick questions’ in the members forum area.
You can find out more about Landlord Law here
Next time I will be writing about tenancy agreements.
Tessa Shepperson is a specialist landlord & tenant lawyer and runs the popular Landlord Law online information service.
To see all the articles in my series please Click Here
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