Landlords and Estate Agents have been told to tighten up their checks on the immigration statuses of new tenants. Since 01 February, the government has introduced new controversial ‘Right to Rent’ obligations. The landlords/Agents who let a home to a tenant who is unable to stay in the UK will be fined anything from £1,000-£3,000, depending on the amount of times in which this has happened.

Many are concerned of the political undertones in which these new laws will have on the much debated question of immigration in the UK. The scheme was first introduced to the West Midlands, handing over a great deal of responsibility to the landlords on the government’s crackdown on illegal immigrants. Landlords will consequently have to manage the risk of abiding their new obligations with the risk of being accused of discrimination.



'Landlords are damned if they do and damned if they don’t…' are the words of DR David Smith, the RLA's policy director. He has also expressed a concern of the 'hostile' implications of the new checks for 'good landlords and legitimate tenants.'

The national scheme was initially announced back in October. However, according to the Residential Landlord Association's recent study, more than 90% of the surveyed landlords were oblivious to their new obligations and many could not get their heads around details of the checks.

Nicola Thivessen from Chestertobs Estate Agents has said that some landlords '…are likely to feel that the new legislation is a bureaucratic minefield, they may think that they can play safe by only renting to British people. This is absolutely not the case, as this is tantamount to discrimination…'

Nicola also said 'Some of the most vulnerable people in the private rented sector may be forced to turn to the black economy to find a place to live. Someone who is homeless, for instance, may not hold a passport or visa; and obtaining one may be difficult, not to say costly, for someone living on the streets or in temporary accommodation, so this policy could well bar many such people from ever getting back into secure, rented accommodation.'

 

For more details visit www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents

Published on 01 March 2016

Source Wonderlease

Written by Marc Cohen

Free Valuation
Share This