Immigration Bill – Landlords could be fined

Immigration Bill – Landlords could be fined

14:05 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago 14

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queenA new immigration bill that includes landlords responsibilities to check the status of tenants rights to reside or face large fines was announced today in the Queens speech.

“My government will bring forward a bill that further reforms Britain’s immigration system. The bill will ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deters those who will not.”

Downing Street briefings on the contents of the immigration bill are still very low on any actual detailed measures. The much publicised new duty on private landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants won’t make any difference to EU citizens as they already have the right to live in Britain as do Britons in any other EU country.

The proposal may not however be workable without a register of private landlords and a compulsory scheme of residence permits or migrant ID cards.  The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, could not explain how it would work and confirmed at this stage it was only about “announcing areas we are going to tackle” and government will provide further details only “when the time is right”.

However the vast majority of Landlords already carry out their own referencing which includes ID checks, voters role checks and employers reference where there is already a legal responsibility not to employ illegal immigrants. Therefore any new measures will likely affect only the few that don’t carry out checks already, or unscrupulous criminal Landlords.


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17:53 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago

just great. we pay the state to employ border and immigration control officers, they prove to be completely incompetent then we have to pay again to fix the problem they couldn't do with a uniform, guns and powers of arrest.

what on earth are we expected to do without the tools the "experts" proved so useless at using ???

I wonder why UKIP go so many votes?

18:02 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago

I bet if you put UK Boarder Force staff on a commission only basis they would soon clear the backlog!

Typical how the Government push the compliance onto ordinary people to check stuff that officials should have done - will the fine be the £2000 per person that Lorry drivers are fined for stowaways found on their vehicles

Possibly this is a backhanded way to deny immigrants housing - forcing them to go home?

Industry Observer

19:46 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago

It may come as a shock to all concerned, but I think you may find landlords already have some responsibilities in this respect. Or at least even if they don't would be asked some very awkward questions indeed if an occupier not even authorised to be in the UK was in their property and causing some sort of problems.

Seems a fairly reasonable question to me to ask a landlord (from the biggest to the smallest) which is "Why did you let someone live in your property who isn't even entirled to be in this country?"

Doesn't take a lot to ask to see work permits and papers. As with a conractor who has PL they should be pleased to show you. if they are not.........................

20:41 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago

dear Industry Observer, you obviously are not as observant as your namesake.
doctors and nurses have been treating sick illegals for years, so have hospitals.
even the police have been arresting them and, for some bizarre reason, letting them go again. same as the courts. even though they might have hitched a lift on the back of the truck councils have given them 'emergency money' and some have even been housed at your expense.
deporting them back to whence they came became against their human rights as they ' had a cat' or some such excuse.

what you should consider is " why is it our fault " all of a sudden ? what the hell did we do to be lumbered with sorting out the incompetence of the police, nurses, doctors, councils, border farce, oops sorry border force, the judiciary ???
not to mention European Human Rights Act.

I wonder if we will be breaking any EU laws ? not giving illegal immigrants housing, or breaking any anti racist laws ? where do we stand if the illegal is gay ?

i wonder what a real minefield looks like ? with real mines ? would it be easier to navigate ?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

21:16 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Surely this is aimed at the illegal gang masters and will help clean up our tarnished industry. Any landlord who employs the services of a professional referencing company has nothing to worry about in my may help the authorities to take out a few rogue agents too.

Industry Observer

22:11 PM, 8th May 2013, About 11 years ago


Didn't really understand a word of your rant, including the reference to a "namesake"

What "namesake"

Robert M

1:07 AM, 9th May 2013, About 11 years ago

"Therefore any new measures will likely affect only the few that don’t carry out checks already, or unscrupulous criminal Landlords."

I doubt this very much. What if a tenant has a two year work and holiday permit (if these are still available). Will the landlord be expected to police the amount of work done? Will a genuine quick track possession order be available for legal tenants who beocome illegal?

Seems to me like an example of more legislation for the sake of it.

Slightly off topic but another example, I have never understood why an estate agent has to do money laundering checks on a client when the agent does not actually participate in the sale. Surely the solicitor does this?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:26 AM, 9th May 2013, About 11 years ago

@robert M there is no requirement to use a solicitor, especially if no mortgages are involved.

You may be right on the immigration point, only time will tell, but I suspect it's a stick to beat gang masters with in in practice


20:00 PM, 9th May 2013, About 11 years ago

Hurrahhhhhhhh ! Another opportunity to tax the honest and leave the dishonest to get away with it.
Professional landlords already do make checks. It's called referencing, so what's new there then???

I wonder if the Southall shed tenants have been referenced? The recent TV expose made sure the Government agencies know where to find the illegals. Almost any shed in any Southall garden would bring immediate results. But of course they have never bothered to do anything about it as to confront them would simply create a whole new asylum and benefits application wave.

This is yet more hot air from completely ineffectual politicians running scared and trying to pretend they are going to do something, but instead they will all go out and have a lovely slap-up meal to discuss and congratulate themselves on making a completely pointless noise. They may even set up a dozen or so high salaried quangos to demonstrate their enthusiasm, all offering to place themselves on the boards on the pitiful six figure salaries and gold plated pensions with banker style bonus and expense needs. Then they will justify charging genuine, decent landlords additional taxes, the professional ones like us that have always checked passports and never allowed illegals rather than the cash-in-hand shed renters. Yes, let's regulate, registrate and charge the easy, innocent targets as usual while the dodgy, cash in hand merchants get away scott free yet again.

Maybe a vote for UKIP is a good vote for professional landlords?? Let's get out of Europe now then this silly Human Rights nonsense can't be used as an excuse for criminals to abuse the system. In fact, you could argue that getting out of Europe could solve many problems. If all foreigners were sent back to whence they came there would be full employment for the indigenous population (and they should be forced to take the lowly jobs or lose their benefit), we wouldn't need to build thousands of new homes on green fields, solving the housing shortage, the strain on the hospitals, schools, policing could miraculously disappear and landlords like us would no longer be necessary - oooooooppppppss, is that a fly in the ointment??

Heaven help us all.............

Industry Observer

8:35 AM, 10th May 2013, About 11 years ago

ro1 has made what I think is the most appropriate comment so far.

All thast is needed is to ask the simple question - what nationality are you? If the tenant lies job done, fair enough then you can use ground 17 to evict if they turn out to be bad ternants.

The nail has been hit on the head - referencing. It's like the TDP problem if you don't ask you don't know there is a Relevant Person providing part of the deposit and then boing!!! - you have committed an offence on the PI form.

Ask the questions it really is very simple. If they are not a UK national or a EU citizen then you ask further questions and then you ask to see work permits etc.

Very simple, very easy if, of course, you use a decent referencing company that asks the correct questions. I investigated this in detail for an article in an industry respected journal last year and was shocked at how incomplete the majority of high profile referencing company's forms were.

Room for improvement there as well, but all that is needed is to ask a couple of simple questions, and that's it.

Anyway everyone should wait here before screaming before they are scalded. This will not become legislation, and even if the Coalition tries to after the next election they won't be in power. What replaces them will be worse of course if Labour - reulation and licensing.

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