Thursday, 4 September 2014

Landlords face fines over immigrants

New legislation which will see landlords face fines if they rent homes to illegal immigrants without checking their “right to rent” is to be brought into force in a phased roll-out .

The new measures in the Immigration Act are to be launched first in the West Midlands, in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton. The new law will mean from December 1 private landlords will have to check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country if they want to avoid potentially being fined up to £3,000.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire said: “We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law.

“The right to rent checks will be quick and simple, but will make it more difficult for immigration offenders to stay in the country when they have no right to be here.

“They will also act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out substandard, overcrowded and unsafe accommodation.”

Landlords will need to see evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, such as a passport or biometric residence permit.

Copies of the documentation will need to be taken as evidence the checks have been carried out and retained for one year after the tenancy ends.

Following an evaluation of the implementation in the West Midlands next spring, the Home Office expects to continue with the phased introduction of checks across the UK next year.

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