Landlords and Immigration
There have been plenty of stories about Immigration and Housing in the news in recent weeks – take the Red Doors of Housing for Asylum Seekers in Middlesbrough, and the sparkly wristbands given to Asylum Seekers in Cardiff – but the most important story for British Landlords may have slipped under the radar this week, and concerns new legislation requiring Landlords to check the immigration status of their prospective tenants.
Do you own ‘Buy-to-Let’ properties in England? As of the 1st February 2016, all Landlords in England are now required, by law, to ensure that their tenants have the right to live in the United Kingdom. If a Landlord does not check the immigration status of their tenants, and the tenants do not have the ‘right to rent’ in the UK, Landlords risk a fine of at least £1000.
One of the key issues with the new legislation is that it requires Landlords to check documentation provided by their tenants. Most Landlords are familiar with Passports, but as nearly 17% of the UK population do not hold a valid passport (source: Office for National Statistics Office for National Statistics), this means that Landlords may have to check alternative identity documents that they don’t feel confident with. If this is the case for you, I can strongly recommend that you take a look at the document ‘Landlords Guide to checking Immigration Documents’ (Guidance For Landlords). There is also plenty of information on the new legislation on the UK Government website Landlord Immigration Check if you have any other questions.
If you rent out property in England, please take the time to read up on the new legislation – an hour or so out of your busy schedule isn’t much in comparison to the threatened fines that you could face if you house tenants without the ‘right to rent’ in the UK!