Right To Rent Rolls Out Nationwide From 1st February 2016

The Immigration Act 2015 introduced the concept of “right to rent” to the private rented sector. It places the onus on landlords and agents to check if prospective tenants have the right to rent in the UK. A pilot scheme was introduced in the West Midlands earlier this year and right to rent will roll out across England and Wales from 1st February next year. As well as traditional landlords, individuals who sub-let and homeowners who take in lodgers must also check if their prospective tenants have leave to remain in the UK. Failure to make the necessary checks could result in a fine of up to £3,000.

David Cox, Managing Director of ARLA says “The roll out will continue to help weed out the minority of rogue landlords who exploit vulnerable immigrants for their own financial gain – as was seen during the pilot scheme. The Immigration Bill 2015 will further develop these plans when passed next year, through harsher penalties, including criminal offences, aimed at those landlords and unregulated agents that aren’t complying with basic laws. Implementing the scheme across the whole of England, instead of in further pilot phases, will also remove any confusion from landlords and agents about whether they are required to comply.”

However, landlords have been warned that in checking up on tenants, they could potentially be accused of discrimination under the Equality Act.

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