Tackling Illegal Immigration In Privately Rented Accommodation

The Government is making it harder for illegal immigrants to rent accommodation. The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a requirement for landlords of private rental accommodation to conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK. Landlords who rent to illegal migrants without conducting these checks will be liable for a civil penalty.

The government wants to ensure tenants in private rented housing are not living in the UK illegally and is already working with councils to tackle rogue landlords who exploit migrant by housing them in “beds in sheds” and illegally overcrowded accommodation.

These checks have been trialled in one location in the UK in autumn 2014.  The requirements will then apply more widely from 2015.  Where you are working with the HomeChoice Plus Scheme we will have made these checks for you.

The government is focussing on making this work for the housing market and minimising regulation. The checks will be very simple, and in most cases landlords will be able to conduct them without contacting the Home Office.

Private landlords will be required to make simple checks on new tenants to ensure that they are entitled to be in this country. The checks will be straightforward and quick for law-abiding landlords and tenants to comply with.

Key Facts

  • The requirements will not apply to pre-existing tenancies. Landlords will only have to conduct checks on new tenancy agreements from the implementation date.
  • The checks will apply to all adults over the age of 18 living at the property.
  • When the checks are mandatory in 2015 there will be resources provided such as draft Codes of Practice, guidance and online resources, including an aid to help landlords and tenants identify whether they are affected and, if so, how to conduct a check.
  • The government will also provide a set off services to help landlords to conduct checks such as online guidance and a telephone helpline (local rate) providing general information, and a case-checking service for more complex cases.
  • The government are focused on caring for the vulnerable:
    • They are making it easy for homeless and vulnerable people to prove their entitlement through simple documentary requirements for the right to rent check
    • They are exempting those parts of the housing market where further regulation is least appropriate from this obligation, including homelessness hostels, refuges and student accommodation including all halls of residence, any accommodation provided for students directly by a higher educational institution (HEI), and residency agreements in private residential properties where the student has been nominated to occupy the property by a HEI
    • They are excluding all tenants housed by local authorities under a statutory duty from the scheme.
  • The focus is on making it work for the housing market and minimising regulation. If a landlord has not had an answer from the Home Office within two working days, they can go ahead and rent without risk of incurring a penalty (Check latest timing on website).
  • Failure to comply could result in a civil penalty up to a maximum £3000.
  • It is important to check the latest timescales and requirements directly.

For full information visit: 
Factsheet Landlords Aug 14.pdf

Visit Mole Valley District Council Website

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