One million landlords risking imprisonment and/or fines as new immigration check legislation comes into force
As we enter the first week of Right to Rent being criminalized, our latest poll shows that 50% of landlords are unaware of their legal obligations when it comes to checking whether applicant tenants have the ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK.
New parts of the Immigration Act 2016 came into effect from last Thursday (1st of December), consolidating the Right To Rent regulations that came into effect back in February.
Agents acting on behalf of landlords, or landlords themselves if they manage tenancies, are now committing a criminal offence if they have “reasonable cause to believe” that the apartment or house they are letting is being rented by a tenant disqualified under Right to rent regulations. It is also an offence for agents who have “reasonable cause to believe” that their landlord client is letting to a tenant disqualified because of their immigration status, and who go ahead with the management of the property.
Furthermore, if a landlord or managing agent serves a Section 8 notice which does not specifically refer to the Immigration Act 2016, it is regarded as invalid and tenants will have a technical defence to possession proceedings.
So over the last 3 months we have undertaken a poll of 1,000 new landlord members who’ve joined us, to find out what they know about the Right to Rent regulations. Worryingly, 50% of those polled where unaware of any such legislation being in place at all – meaning that circa. one million landlords are risking imprisonment of up to five years and/or an unlimited fine for failing to comply.
Thankfully upon joining us we were able to educate them, as at the TR Group we have our very own Home Office Compliant TR Immigration Document Checking Service for landlords and letting agents.
Not only can our new service verify whether a tenant has the right to rent in the UK, it is also the cheapest and most comprehensive Immigration Check available on the buy to let market (to-date); at £5 (5 credits) per report.