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Requirement for private landlords to check immigration status of new tenants

Posted on 21 October 2013

New immigration checks, Pardoes' property litigation solicitors

Blog posted by Sarah Doble, Landlord & Tenant Expert, Pardoes Property Litigation solicitors

A consultation has been published by the Home Office regarding proposals to require private landlords/letting agents to check the immigration status of new tenants.

The consultation is seeking views on proposals that:

  • Before renting a property, the landlords/letting agent will be required to check evidence (from a checklist of documents) of that person's permission to be in the UK.
  • Landlords/letting agents will be required to retain a copy of evidence for their records.
  • If the tenant is a foreign national with an immigration time limit on their stay, a further check must be made annually or when the person’s permitted stay is due to expire.
  • If an illegal migrant is found to be living in rented accommodation, the landlord/letting agent will be subject to a penalty (unless the illegal migrant was already living in the property when the new rules were introduced).
  • The immigration status of lodgers and subtenants should also be checked.

The consultation closed on 21 August 2013 and we are currently awaiting the results to outline any issues to you, that have arisen, but I understand that the results already reviewed show that the Home Office believes ‘hard action’ and high penalties will be used against any Landlord/agents who do not carry out due diligence in this area.

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