IMMIGRATION STATUS OF TENANTS TO BE CHECKED BY LANDLORDS
The Immigration Act 2014 received Royal Assent on the 14th of May means that private landlords of residential properties may not let to certain groups of persons.
The immigration status of occupiers must now be checked by the landlord including, not only tenants, but also any other authorised occupiers. The checks are to ascertain that the occupiers have the right to occupy i.e. that:
- They are “relevant nationals” i.e.:
- A British citizen;
- A national of an EEA State;
- A national of Switzerland ; and
- And that they have a right to rent in relation to the Property. [A person does not have a right to rent if they require leave to enter or remain in the UK and do not have it or they have leave but it is subject to conditions that prevent them from occupying the premises.]
Landlords must also ensure that their tenant or authorised occupiers’ right to occupy’ does not lapse.
Any breaches of these onerous obligations could mean civil penalties of fines of up to £3,000.
The Home Office will provide an on-line checking tool and a free telephone enquiry service for landlords.
It is believed that the implementation of the scheme will commence in October 2014 but no firm date has been set.