Right to Rent is creating a hostile atmosphere in the UK’s private rented sector with more landlords refusing to consider renting to non-British nationals, including citizens from the European Union.
Lobbying group JCWI wins its day in court after being given green light by High Court in June.
Cross-party group says there has been no assessment of impact of immigration scheme
The BBC says Right To Rent legislation is fuelling a burgeoning market in fake IDs - in some cases creating access to property to the illegal migrants that it was supposed to identify and prevent.
The Residential Landlords’ Association has written to an immigration minister to express its concern over possible ‘further sanctions’ for landlords who knowingly let to tenants without permission to live and work in the UK.
One year ago, on 1 February 2016, the government implemented its “right to rent” scheme, requiring landlords who let property in England to carry out checks on the immigration status of potential tenants, as part of a government drive to create a “hostile environment for illegal migrants”.
The government plans to extend the scheme to the rest of the UK. But before it does, the government must ask whether the scheme’s biggest effect has been to deny some of society’s most vulnerable people the accommodation they need.
Agents are warned that new criminal offences are being created on December 1 2016 under the Immigration Act 2016.
One effect of the Leave vote is that some legislation will have to be rewritten – while some measures could be scrapped.
Leading contender for legislation which would have to be rewritten are the two Immigration Acts, with their Right to Rent provisions.
Both Acts make considerable reference to the automatic acceptability of tenants with EU identification paperwork.
A contender for scrapping is the EU Mortgage Directive which means that landlords deemed to be ‘amateur’ or ‘accidental’ must from this year have regulated mortgages.
An industry body is suggesting that the outcome of a court case may significantly reduce the government’s ability to enforce its Right To Rent policy.
The Residential Landlords’ Association says in a case involving Ryanair appealing against fines imposed for carrying illegal immigrants into the UK, the judge held that the way the regime for airlines to check passports is operated by the Home Office “offends the basic concepts of justice and indeed rule of law.”
Any agent or landlord who vets a prospective tenant and finds that they are an illegal immigrant does not have to report them – provided they do not allow that person to rent.
The wording of a sentence, which apparently highlights an absurdity, leaps out of a new Commons briefing paper on Right to Rent.
Right to Rent was rolled out across England on February 1.
It currently carries civil penalties, but the newer Immigration Bill plans to turn these into criminal penalties with stiff fines and possible jail for agents and landlords.
The controversial Right to Rent scheme has affected fresh criticism on the day it goes live.
From today, 1 February, landlords are required to check a tenant’s immigration status before granting a tenancy and risk fines of up to £3,000 if they let to someone without the right to live in the UK.
Right to rent is badly communicated, confusing and complex. And I’ve never met a landlord who can tell a valid Liechtenstein passport from a forgery
L&Q has launched its programme to create 5,000 new homes for the Build To Rent sector in London and south east England over the next five years.
It claims this will be “the UK’s largest selection of purpose built and newly refurbished rental properties.”
Half of UK landlords are not prepared for the Right to Rent legislation set to come into force on 01 February with some thinking they had another two years to wait.
Indeed some 20% believed that they had until April 2017 to prepare for the changes, while 3% believed they had until 2018 to get ready, the research from online estate agent Urban shows.
Residential property landlords in England are being reminded that there is less than a month to go before right to rent rules come into force regarding checking the background of new tenants.
The new law means that from 01 February landlords with property in England will have to carry out checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
A private landlord has said that he would not be able to let to his own partner because, although she is legally entitled to be in the UK, she does not pass the Home Office checker.
The landlord, who we have agreed not to name, ran her details through the checker, only to receive back this notice:
“This person can’t rent your property.
“You may get a civil penalty if you still rent your property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in the UK.
“You can read the landlord’s code of practice on making checks for more information.”
The landlord told EYE that his partner has lived in the UK for decades and frequently travels in and out without problem.
Private landlords or their agents could be required to check the immigration status of at least 2.6m people a year – and possibly more than double that number – when Right to Rent is implemented in England in just over three weeks’ time.
With the Immigration Act 2014 and its obligations to check all tenants have a right to rent coming into force across all of England from February 1, many agents are getting concerned about what they will need to do.
Strong concerns have been expressed in the Commons that landlords – or their agents – would automatically be committing an offence if told by the Home Office that a tenant is in the UK illegally.
Immigration minister James Brokenshire said he would “reflect carefully” on the concerns raised.
The 2015 Immigration Bill will criminalise breaches of the Right to Rent regime, which was introduced by the 2014 Immigration Act and will be implemented across the whole of England from February.
The 2014 Act imposes civil penalties but the new Bill seeks to impose criminal sanctions.
Agents who will do Right to Rent checks on behalf of landlords should be aware that a crucially important requirement is not obvious.
It is unclear to the extent that it is catching out some solicitorsflicting advice.
It is also unclear as to why the latest Home Office guidance does not spell out exactly when the checks must be made when this is such a critical matter in terms of agents and landlords complying with the law.
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