With the Immigration Act 2014 due to be rolled out across the UK from Spring 2015, Deb Simpson, Lettings Manager at Alasdair Morrison Management Surveyors, looks at the implications for landlords.
Deb says: “For landlords, the Immigration Act 2014 will have a major impact on their legal responsibilities.
“Under Section 22 of the Act, the property should only be let to adults who are British, EEA or Swiss nationals, unless they have a Right to Rent in the UK.
“Effectively, landlords will be responsible for asking all new tenants over the age of 18, whether they are named on the tenancy agreement or not, for evidence of their identity and citizenship. The landlord must then check the authenticity of those documents, such as a passport, or biometric residence permit (BRP), before the tenancy can commence, and they must retain copies for 12 months.
“If the tenant has a temporary Right to Remain, then the checks must be repeated every 12 months, or when the temporary right expires. If the tenant has no leave remaining, then landlords will have a legal responsibility to inform the Home Office immediately by post and/or email.
“Any landlord who fails to check whether their tenants have the right to live in this country could face a civil penalty of up to £3,000 for each illegal occupier in residence for at least 12 months.”
When the Act is rolled out, the residency checks will only apply to new tenancies. Statutory, periodic or rolling tenancies will not be deemed as ‘new’ under the Act.
Deb finishes, “We offer a full Landlords Management Service, designed to give landlords peace of mind, as my staff and I will ensure that each and every tenancy complies with all legal regulations and requirements.
“Although this new legislation is still being piloted in the West Midlands, its rollout across the UK is imminent. Our staff are completely ready for the implementation of this new legislation.”