A landlord who fails to comply with new immigration rules to ensure its tenants have the right to rent its property could incur fines of up to £3k and a criminal record.
One element of the Immigration Act 2014, which came into effect on February 1st 2016, requires a landlord to establish a record of all adults over 18 who will occupy its property as their main residence.
This involves checking - in the presence of the tenant or via a live link - original documents from a list that proves the tenants' immigration status and keeping copies in a format that cannot be altered for 12 months after the tenancy terminates.
Agents can carry out the necessary checks on behalf of a landlord if a written agreement is made which ensures the agent keeps the landlord informed and clearly understands reporting responsibilities.
Follow-up checks must be conducted for tenants with a time-limited right to rent. If it is discovered that an adult no longer has that right during the course of the tenancy, the landlord or agent must report it to the Home Office.
Landlords and agents are advised to be up to date with the new rules - which add to the numerous checks and compliance obligations when signing up new tenants - and which bring unwelcome consequences for the unwary and misinformed.
If you have any queries or concerns about the legislation, take advice from solicitors who are experienced in landlord and tenant issues.
hlw Keeble Hawson's Litigation and Dispute Resolution team has a wealth of expertise and an enviable track-record of providing creative, cost-effective outcomes for clients of all types and sizes and works with each in the manner that best suits their needs and budget.
If you would like to discuss the implications of the Immigration Act 2014, or other recent rules for landlords, please contact Liz Henwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0114 252 1442.