Private Rented Sector Hot Topic of the month in Parliament
Essentially the government has seen a way where Landlords and Agents can help their immigration issues by making us check whether or not someone should be allowed to be in the country, (immigration checks) and therefore do they then have a right to rent a property?
A pilot scheme in the midlands has meant that all Landlords there already have to check whether or not applicants are allowed to actually have a right to live in the UK and rent a property. Now the Conservatives are not in a coalition they have taken the step to ensure that this is now rolled out across the UK.
Due to the already comprehensive referencing structure McCartan Lettings already have in place, applying additional checks are not too onerous for us, however it will be important for all Landlords to be aware that they will be responsible for ensuring the immigration and right to rent checks have been undertaken, whether they use a letting agent or privately rent out their property. We have already put a system in place to request a copy of each tenant and occupier’s passport (even if they are of British Nationality) to mitigate any potential issues arising from this proposed new legislation.
In his speech on the 22nd May, Mr Cameron also slipped in a mandatory licensing scheme to be introduced along with new rules allowing landlords to evict illegal immigrants more quickly. “We’ll also crack down on the unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants, by introducing a new mandatory licensing regime. And, a bit like ending jobs when visas expire, we’ll consult on cancelling tenancies automatically at the same point,” he said.
David Cox, Managing Director at the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), says that this is not a full solution. “This is a step in the right direction, it’s not the full solution to the problem of rogue agents plaguing the market. We urge the Government to take this opportunity and impose more appropriate, overarching regulation on the whole lettings industry,” he added.
We will have more information on this in the coming months.