Today, the Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire has spoken out on his opinion of the new Immigration Rules requiring landlords to check tenants’ right to be in the UK. Back in October 2014 the Home Office announced that landlords of private residential property will need to check that tenants have a right to rent in the UK before letting a property to them. From 1 December 2014 Part 3 Chapter 1 of the Immigration Act 2014 will launch in Birmingham,Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton.
James Brokenshire: Law Abiding Landlords and Home Owners should welcome these New Powers
According to the Immigration Minister despite concerns of landlords in the UK, Immigration Rules are implemented in order to have a fair but controlled hold on immigration. The Minister also believes that by introducing such Acts the UK is more likely to become a less attractive place to illegal migrants. There is an estimated 85% of illegal migrants living in private rented properties. If landlords in the West Midlands fail to comply with the new Immigration Rules they could face a fine of up to £3,000. The new rules will apply to the rest of the UK in 2015. In an article written by the Minister for the website 24dash.com, he stated with regards to the immigration checks:
“The checks should only take a few minutes, and if a tenant has sent their documents to the Home Office, landlords can use our free online checking service to find out their eligibility within two days. The rules will not just apply to the named tenant, but all residents over 18 living in a property. However, to protect vulnerable groups and avoid double regulation, hostels, refuges, local authority housing and student accommodation provided by an education institution are exempt from the changes. Cracking down on illegal immigration and targeting those who profit from it are vital in their own right, but there are further benefits. Law abiding landlords and home owners should welcome these new powers. They will improve the system for everyone.”
Who can Occupy Residential Accommodation in the UK?
Under the scheme, individuals will fall into the following three broad categories depending on their immigration status:
- Unlimited Right to Rent: This applies to British citizens, EEA, Swiss nationals and people who have the right to reside in the UK or who have been granted indefinite leave to remain or have no time limit on their stay in the UK (A landlord will not be liable for a civil penalty if they rent accommodation by someone with an unlimited right to rent in the UK).
- Time-limited Right to Rent: This applies to people that have valid leave to enter or remain in the UK for a limited period of time; or they are entitled to enter or remain in the UK as a result of an enforceable right under European Union law or any provision made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (in order to avoid a penalty a landlord will need to conduct follow-up checks on people who come under this category).
- No Right to Rent: This applies to people who do not have permission to be in the UK (landlords will face a hefty fine if they lease accommodation to someone who has no immigration status in the UK).
Are you affected by the ‘Right to Rent Checks’?
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. If you have received correspondence from Capita, it is advisable that you seek immediate legal advice before enforcement action is taken against you by the Home Office.
Contact us to discuss your immigration situation and we will assess your case and provide you with options of regularising your stay.