That’s right, from 1st February 2016, Landlords in England and Wales will be responsible for ensuring that their new tenants have the right to be in the country!
Political views aside, this is yet another major change in legislation that puts landlords and agents at risk of falling foul of the law.
The Law in Summary
- Check your occupants are allowed to be in the Country
- Retain proof.
If they’re not allowed to be in the country, you must Report this as an Immigration Crime.
If they are, you must retain proof as the burden of proof is always on the landlord (like with smoke alarms).
NOTE: It is NOT just people who you don’t think are British!
If you don’t do it…
You can be fined up to £3,000 for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England.
Fine, what do I need to do?
If HOMEsure manages your property, you’re already covered and we do everything for you.
If we don’t manage your property (why not? Haven’t you read our reviews?!), then you can do this yourself.
Click here to visit Government’s website for guidance on How to Check.
For a user-friendly guide on how to check, click here.
Why do you, as a landlord, want to do this?
If a landlord makes the checks and retains copies as required they will have a statutory excuse against a penalty for letting to an illegal migrant.
How to avoid being racist
This is usually the first thing landlords say to us…
Do I even have to check people who are clearly British and have always lived here?
Yes, but you should be doing this anyway as you need to have proof of who occupies a property.
Just treat everyone the same (and keep tidy records!) and you’re unlikely to be accused of discrimination.
Although this additional legislation is time-consuming and annoying for all parties involved, it isn’t actually that much more work if you’re doing things properly already!
If you’re not taking proof of ID, proof of income, and proof of address of your tenants, then the risk of prosecution for not completing these checks will be the least of your worries!
For more cynical, arrogant, yet witty advice, call us on 0151 722 22 22.