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Immigration Act 2016 – December update

Posted on 2016-12-01

By now you’ll be more than familiar with the Immigration Act 2016 and its impact on agents, landlords and tenants. The Act was responsible for the launch of the Right to Rent scheme, a series for checks for landlords to undertake in order to ensure all new tenants have permission to reside in the UK.

So what’s the update?

From today – December 1st - the Government will update the Act to make it easier for landlords to evict tenants if they discover they’re residing in the UK illegally. This will sometimes even be possible by simply obtaining a notice from the Home Office, without the need for a court order. The landlord will then have full responsibility for ensuring the tenant leaves the property.

The act of renting a property to an illegal migrant is now also considered a criminal offence in certain cases – and focuses on a minority of rogue landlords and agents who have:

  • consistently failed to carry out Right to Rent checks on new tenants; or
  • consistently failed to take steps to remove illegal migrants from a property

Punishments for these acts include monetary fines, imprisonment of up to five years; or both. There are other sanctions under the Proceeds of Crime Act that could also be enforced.

Commenting on the update, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said:

“We are clear that illegal immigrants should not be able to access or remain in private rented accommodation, preventing lawful residents from finding a home.

“We know the vast majority of landlords are diligent in their responsibilities when it comes to their tenants and we want to help them to be able evict illegal immigrants more easily.

“But unscrupulous landlords and agents who exploit migrants and who repeatedly fail to carry out right to rent checks or fail to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from their property will find they could now face going to jail.”

If you’d like a hand ensuring your processes are compliant with the regulations, give your Account Manager a call to chat about our HomeLet Verify service and how it can save you time and resources when carrying out Right to Rent checks on behalf of your landlords.

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