Immigration Checks – OUTSOURCE THE RESPONSIBILITYMake Text Bigger
Before we present a very simple solution to the Immigration Checks issue it is important that you truly understand the problem, and why so many landlords have are so stressed about it.
Tenant immigration checks for landlords has been all over the news this last week and become a hot political topic for the government to show they are doing something in light of all the trouble in Calais.
Although checking the right to reside is common practice for businesses with employees it is going to be a new responsibility for Landlords regardless of the rights or wrongs and if it is welcome.
Under “Right to Rent” proposals in the upcoming Immigration Bill the Home Office would issue a notice when an asylum application fails that confirms the tenant no longer has the right to rent property. However landlords will be required to check ALL tenants have a Right to Rent and will have to recheck documents if their status is temporary.
The government has said it will set up a blacklist of landlords and letting agents allowing councils to keep track of those who have been convicted of housing offences and ban them from renting out properties if they are repeat offenders.
The headline maximum penalty for repeated failure by landlords to check and take action is 5 years in prison!
Although the checks required will be reasonable eg passports, ID cards, Visas etc. they will still need to be documented and checked for forgeries with proof provided upon request.
A key protection for landlords will be to use an ARLA bonded Letting Agent carrying professional indemnity insurance.
LettingSupermarket, the online letting agents we liked so much we bought part of the company (as Victor Kiam once said), offer a full management service which will include the Right to Rent checks for only 4%.
Now the time and stress this will save any Landlord for such a small percentage has got to be a no brainer. All Property118 partners’ properties are managed by LettingSupermarket even though in Mark’s case they were done previously by family!
You might be forgiven for thinking that a 4% fee for full management (minimum £24.99 pcm plus VAT) would involve cutting corners.
You’d be wrong!
For this super low cost, the service offered to Property118 members includes client money protection and all of the following:-
- Visiting your property to take particulars
- Setting up a system to store your documentation securely, online of course so that it can be accessed at any time and wherever you are
- Advertising your property on the major property portals, Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location etc.
- Organising viewings at times which are convenient for prospective tenants
- Referencing tenants and guarantors
- Getting an inventory and schedule of condition prepared by an AIIC qualified inventory professional
- Using the correct Tenancy and Guarantor Agreements
- Taking meter readings on check in and check out and informing utility companies of tenancy change over
- Protecting deposits and serving prescribed information and tenancy deposit certificates within 30 days of the commencement of each new tenancy
- Arranging annual Gas Safety Certificates
- Checking rental payments are received on the due date and taking appropriate action if they are not
- Issuing the correct notices at the correct time and in the correct way as necessary
- Responding to and dealing with maintenance issues quickly
- Performing periodic inspections
- Organising Rent Guarantee insurance
- Check Out at the end of the tenancy
- Timely return of tenants deposit
- Negotiating with tenants and dealing with ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) or Court cases if necessary
For an additional £10 a month plus VAT per tenant (guarantors are not charged) rent guarantee insurance is also included.
Is it really worth the hassle of doing all this yourself for that price?