Impact of the Immigration Act
In May 2014 a new Immigration Act passed through parliament to become law.
What is the Immigration Act?
The Immigration Act 2014 changes how the UK’s immigration system operates. Part of its aim is to reduce the number of illegal migrants in the country. The Act is now law and it requires greater input from landlords (and letting agents) to check a tenant is in the country legally.
What impact will this have on landlords?
The first thing to be aware of is if you let a property to someone without the correct checks, you could be fined up to £3,000 if it is revealed that any tenant over the age of 18 didn’t have permission to reside in England and Wales. Checks need to be carried out on all new tenants or if a tenancy is being renewed and the tenant’s visa expires during the tenancy.
What checks are required?
In addition to normal identity checks such as requesting passports or photo driving licences, landlords will need to check the validity of paperwork such as visas.
The good news is, we will take on the responsibility of carrying out these checks on your behalf, within your current fees.
If you prefer to carry out the checks yourself you can, and we would recommend using the new Home Office service to do this once it is launched later this year. In the event you are in any doubt regarding the validity of the documents presented to you, this service will allow you to email them to the Home Office and they will confirm within 48 hours if they are valid.