Mark Lilley-Tams of Paragon Law explores the issue of when new rules requiring Landlords to check the Immigration Status of their tenants will be rolled out across the UK.
At present, new rules for Landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants are being piloted in the areas of Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton. Landlords within these areas are currently under a duty to undertake checks of the immigration status of their tenants. If they do not carry out checks, they can be fined up to £3,000 per tenant that is renting a property if they do not have a right to rent.
The pilot has been running from the 1st December 2014 and landlords in the above areas have been getting to grips with the new system of rules, or delegating the responsibility for carrying out checks to agents to carry out checks on their behalf.
The government have not yet confirmed when the new rules will be rolled out nationwide. However, contrary to previous indications, the Home Office’s evaluation of the pilot period is being brought forward so that a report can be published earlier, with the indication being that the right to rent rules will be rolled out nationwide from Autumn 2015.
I asked our Founder and lettings expert Valerie Cadman-Jones (my wife) what she thought. Although there will be more red tape to unravel and hoops to jump through, the initial checks will be relatively easy if you understand the visa and right to reside laws/regs. Problems will come on renewal, serving notice and if a tenant doesn’t leave after a notice period expires. Student lets and HMO’s will be especially toxic if not managed properly.
However having a tested system, or experienced letting agent, will help you avoid any pitfalls. If you are letting a property in the Rugby, Lutterworth, Coventry or Leamington area then contact us and we can help you get to grips with the new laws.