Prospective tenants will have to prove British citizenship or right to reside
Following statute law, landlords will now be required to confirm a prospective tenant’s legal right to be living in the country, reports the BBC.
Testing the new guidelines in the West Midlands, Government fully expects to be seeing this practice rolled out throughout the country after its trial period in this particular area.
New regulations can be found in the Immigration Act 2014. This law clearly states that landlords must be sure of a tenant’ s legal right to be living in the UK before agreeing to lease their property to them. Such a status can be confirmed most simply through the provision of a British passport or, alternatively, a biometric residence permit issued by the Home Office.
In circumstances where a tenant’s right to rent is at all questionable, landlords may use the government website to confirm an individual’s immigration status. This will ensure they have completed all necessary checks as they are now required to do by law.
Failure to complete the required right to rent check on prospective tenants will be punishable with a fine of £3,000.
In addition to protecting the country from housing illegal immigrants, the new regulations will serve to protect those individuals who may easily be taken advantage of.
“Securities Minister James Brokenshire said the rules would also ‘act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out overcrowded and unsafe accommodation’,” the BBC reports.
Concerns have been raised over the potential exclusivity and favouring this new regulation will promote. A spokesperson from the National Landlords Association has appealed to landlords to make themselves familiar with rules regarding unlawful discrimination and the Code of Practice issued by the Home Office in order to help to prevent an unfairly selective approach to agreeing tenancies.