The Government has introduced a bill to make private landlords and their letting agents responsible for checking the immigration status of potential tenants. It will also be an offence to rent out properties to people who do not have the right to live in Britain.
There is uncertainty about the fine detail of the new law and how it will operate. The legislation is still going through parliament, so there may be changes or amendments. Additionally there will be a code of practice to be published that will cover compliance.
What is clear is that the new law will be backed by penalties. A landlord who lets a property to an ‘illegal’ applicant could face court action and could be fined several thousand pounds.
It is advisable to conduct identity checks as part of the referencing process. If you would like some more information please contact your local Brown & Co office.