Immigration Bill checks to be light touch for Landlords

Immigration Bill checks to be light touch for Landlords

11:09 AM, 24th May 2013, About 11 years ago 5

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Mark PriskThe Housing Minister Mark Prisk speaking to MPs on the Immigration Bill announced in the recent Queen’s speech confirmed the immigration status of tenants will only have to be checked under a light touch regime.

He said: “What we’re asking for is all landlords undertake that basic check to see people are who they are and they are entitled to be here.

“The intention is to make it light-touch. We’re working on the proposals at the moment and we don’t want to make it unduly onerous. The idea is to make sure someone takes a reasonable step to check someone’s identity and that would naturally be a passport.”

Landlords have been threatened with future heavy fines if they fail  in their responsibility to check their tenants have a right to reside in the UK.

When questioned over a National registration scheme for landlords Prisk said that this would not be likely, but selective licensing schemes could be more widely used. “If there’s a good argument demonstrated that a significant proportion of local authorities would welcome an extension, I would certainly be happy to look at the evidence.”


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12:52 PM, 24th May 2013, About 11 years ago

This statement does not make sense - there's no point making it a legal requirement unless it has teeth. If it has teeth, then a LL MUST perform decent due diligence to make sure the tenant is legal. Just taking a copy of the passport seems a tad lame if the proposed tenant is Nigerian for example.

There are no half measures. Either do or do not...

Personally, I'm going to wait to the 1st draft law is presented to Parliament and then review again. I rent out to students, so this legislation has a big effect for me. If the law is unworkable, then I'll have to stop renting out to all foreign students to protect our business.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

14:35 PM, 24th May 2013, About 11 years ago

It's a pointless exercise anyway. All that will happen in reality is the illegal immigrants cousin, who is legal, will apply for the tenancy and then the illegal cousin will move in.

Mary Latham

17:10 PM, 24th May 2013, About 11 years ago

I think that the point is to make all landlords check the legal status of all tenants. We cannot discriminate. If we take a document that shows us the status of the tenant, ie passport or visa and keep a copy on file that is the most they can ask. We are neither trained or experienced at spotting fake documents and therefore we cannot be expected to know the difference.

In my opinion it is a good thing to have this document on our files.

It will be an easy hit for authorities (whoever will enforce this) to ask to see a copy of a tenants document and if the landlord or agent has nothing to fine him. It will also be easy for landlords and agents to avoid it happening to them.

As always the good guys will comply and the bad guys will not

I would like to show Mark Prisk the evidence that selective licensing make no difference what so ever other than to reduce supply and raise funds for local authorities. With lenders excluding licensed properties from their criteria and landlords avoiding areas of selective licensing it won't be long before the penny drops.

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Yvette Newbury

2:00 AM, 25th May 2013, About 11 years ago

This is something I have tended to do anyway. I like to see some photo ID, and for overseas renters they tend to provide their passport. I always ask for copies of the relevant stamp/visa pages too. If a visa expires during the tenancy I try to find out whether it has ben renewed or not, but if a tenant says it is I do not pursue it further i.e. I do not obtain a copy of the new visa. There's a fine line here between what you need to know and intruding into the personal lives of your tenants! What if they are not paying tax, is HMRC going to ask me to check that too?

10:17 AM, 26th May 2013, About 11 years ago

Mary: Selective licensing has had one effect when introduced in parts of Middlesbrough: it has moved the rotten tenants out of TS1,where they were causing problems, into the formerly quite reasonable area of TS3, making it harder to let my properties there. So all it does is to shift the problem around.

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