In proposals unveiled by the UK Government, landlords who allow illegal immigrants to live in their properties are to be hit with financial penalties. The proposals – unveiled earlier this year in the Queen’s speech – form part of a stricter regime to keep immigration in the UK under control. Ministers intend to make it more difficult for people without permission to carry on with their lives. This all ties in with the forthcoming Immigration Bill which will make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live in the UK unlawfully and ensure that legal migrants make a fair contribution to key public services.
UK Illegal Immigration: Overview of the proposals
The proposals will affect you if you are:
- Renting out accommodation for people to live in anywhere in the UK (potentially lodgers in your own home);
- A letting agent who provides a service for landlords by finding people to live in rented property or who manages the property for them;
- A hotel or guest house or provider of similar accommodation and you take in guests who stay for 3 months or more; and
- Intending to live in rented accommodation anywhere in the UK in the future.
The proposals seek to create a duty to require landlords to conduct immigration status checks on tenants before providing residential accommodation, with financial penalties for those landlords who let property to illegal immigrants having failed to conduct the necessary migration checks.
Illegal Tenants in UK : Penalties for landlords
If illegal immigrants are found living in rented accommodation, then the landlord will be subjected to a penalty unless they were already living there at the time the rules were introduced or other extenuating circumstances apply (i.e. the landlord was deceived by fraudulent documents).
First time offenders will be fined £1000 per illegal immigrant but those who are sent an ‘advisory’ letter or warning about failing to make proper checks within the last 3 years will be fined £3000 per tenant. The rules could also be extended to cover families who take in lodgers with fines ranging between £50 and £5000 per illegal immigrant.
This has led to the National Landlord’s Association raising concerns about the burden the plans would put on landlords. A spokesman for the Association said:
“[Landlords] can only be expected to carry out reasonable checks that someone is who they say they are, and that they have the documentation to prove that they have the right to be here.”
Legal Advice for Illegal Migrants in the UK
Illegal migrants with strong Human Rights arguments ought to take legal advice and regularise their stay in the UK as soon as possible and before it is too late. Please contact us to discuss your immigration situation and we will assess your case and provide you with options of regularising your stay.