The Immigration Act 2014 brought in new laws requiring private landlords or their agents to check whether adult occupiers have a “right to rent”.
There is a power to issue fines of up to £3,000 per person if proper checks have not been carried out.
A pilot scheme started in the West Midlands on 1 December 2014, with plans to roll it out to other areas of the UK in 2015.
Landlords or responsible agents must check who will be living at a property, and check that they have a "right to rent" in the UK by examining certain specified identity documents. It may prove straightforward for many occupants to produce the required documents: many people can produce a national passport or valid residence permit without delay. However, the complexity of immigration and nationality laws, and the time the Home Office can take to resolve an immigration application, means that there are likely to be a number of situations where tenants might not have documents immediately available.
We advise landlords and agents on how to comply with immigration laws, and we can conduct a quick and discreet ‘healthcheck’ of your procedures to cut the risk of fines.
If you are subject to enforcement action, then we can represent you in an appeal.
Our solicitors have an excellent track record in appealing against civil penalties levied mistakenly or unfairly on businesses, with outcomes ranging from reduction of fines to zero, and agreements not to “name and shame”.
Guidance on immigration checks can be found on the Home Office website here: