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Landlords and Letting Agents face being fined


Since February 2016 Landlords and some Letting Agents are now required to check the Immigration status of all their new residential tenancies when the property is used as their main home. This check has to be made 28 days before the start of the tenancy and failure to comply with the new rule could result in a fine of up to £3,000. 

Private Landlords who use a Letting Agent can have the Agent do these checks for them. However, it’s important to have a written agreement stating this, so it’s clear who is responsible for the fines if there’s failure to comply. If the tenant is sub-letting the property without the Landlord or Letting Agent knowing, then they are responsible for carrying out the checks on the sub-tenants and are liable to the fines if they don’t carry out the correct checks.

There are 3 main steps which need to be taken to comply with the new rule:

  1. Landlord/Letting agent to make sure that the tenant going to occupy rented accommodation is authorised.
  2. If the tenant has a time-limited Right to Rent then checks must be made just before, either the expiry date of the tenant’s right to stay in the UK or 12 months after the previous check, depending on which is the longest.
  3. The Home Office is made aware if the follow-up indicates that the occupier no longer has the right to rent.

When checks are carried out it is important to check everyone, not just people who are thought to be British citizens, this is so any claims of Race Discrimination can be avoided if any issues arise. At the moment the new rule doesn’t require any current tenancies to be evicted if they don’t have the correct immigration status, although this could be subject to change.

The new legislation will mean that the Landlord or Letting Agent will need to register with The Information Commissioners Office if it is not in place already, or even amend the registration to cover the Right to Rent regulations to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Failure to do so could lead to an investigation by the ICO who can impose substantial fines.

What next? 

For more information about the checks, visit https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documentshttps://www.gov.uk/landlord-immigration-check. Or alternatively if you have any further questions regarding Right-to-Rent checks then please do not hesitate to give us a call.

01789 761 660

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