The new rules for landlords on the Right to Rent
I’m asked all the time by landlords in Crewe and Nantwich are there any changes in tenancy law. So I thought I would produce this for those landlords who like to stay up to date.
We all know that the West Midlands were trialling it but now its here for the rest of England. The Right to Rent rules. Well it will be soon. As it is going to be rolled out for the rest of England from the 1st February 2016.
The new measures mean that anyone letting a property in England after 1st February 2016 must be able to provide evidence that they have seen and made copies of acceptable ID prior to the commencement of the start of the tenancy. The current penalty for non compliance is a £3,000 fine but this could be increased to a prison sentence if the new Immigration Bill becomes law.
So what does this mean for landlords?
Well you need to be able to prove that you have complied with the rules so you are not liable for the penalty.
You will need to make sure that you keep relevant paperwork so you are in a position to prove that you have done the checks. If you do the checks but don’t keep the proof then it is the same as if you had done nothing! So keeping the proof is crucial.
The checks need to be carried out on everyone not just the people you suspect could be foreign or just the person signing the tenancy agreement. They need to be done for all applicants and for all adults who will be occupying the property.
You must not make any exceptions even for a friend or family member. Your main objection is not to prove that someone has the right to rent in England, but to be in a position to prove that you have complied with the rules.
Provided that you have followed the rules, and provided that you have reported any relevant circumstances to the secretary of state you should be ok.
Everything else is up to the immigration officials.
Further information on the rules can be found here and what is expected of you as a landlord.