Legal Update: Landlords|Tenants – Immigration Status or Fine

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From today Landlords now face up to a £3,000 fine if they don’t follow proper ID procedures with their tenants. If you are a landlord, or an agent, or a tenant subletting to another tenant, you must make mandatory checks. You have to make sure that your prospective tenant has leave to remain or the ‘right to rent’. These rules apply to all those in property in England.

What do you have to do?

1 – Check that the adults who will live in the property, will do so as their only or main home.

2 – Make sure you see the original document that shows a valid right to be in the UK – for example they are a UK citizen, or you have a valid visa or permit. If in doubt check with the Home Office https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents

3 – Check that the documents belong to that individual.

4 – Keep copies of the documents to show what you saw and when you saw them.

If someone is in the middle of an immigration application, then you will need to request a Home Office right to rent check.

If you’re a tenant, you can see that the responsibility lies with the landlord to ask, but be prepared to evidence your immigration status to a landlord before signing up to a lease.

You’ll have to give consent to the landlord and keep a copy of the document, but you may want to make sure that they are going to protect your personal data and look after it during your tenancy. 1 year after your lease ends, you should be able to ask your landlord to destroy that information or give it back to you.

Even if you are subletting a room from a friend, they should also obtain this information from you so that they do not fall foul of the rules and regulations.

Over all, it’s not a question of complying, it’s a question of being seen to comply.

Many will see this as an example of the big brother state, or an example of passing the responsibility of immigration policing to the Landlord, and not be happy about it. But the penalty should be enough of a deterrent to ensure compliance is near universal, no matter what people’s misgivings.

If you have any queries or concerns please call us and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

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