You’ve probably seen the press reports about proposals to imprison landlords who give housing to illegal immigrants. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of concern to landlords and some landlord organisations are being bombarded with queries already, especially given that many landlords are still unclear about what their responsibilities are under the ‘Right to Rent’ rules that were brought in as part of the 2014 Immigration Act.
There’s no need to panic though. This is still just a proposal. There’s been no change in the law yet and responsible landlords who do the right thing have nothing to worry about.
All a landlord really has to do is make a simple check that a potential tenant is entitled to be in the UK before giving them a tenancy and that those rights don’t expire while they are still occupying the property. The rules certainly aren’t a reason to refuse a tenancy to anyone who is legitimately in the UK. The Home office can do an online check for you if you are not sure about someone and they have free helpline if you need further advice. I gave it a quick test call this morning and it was answered straight away by a very helpful officer. Its on 0300 069 9799. So please don’t turn away someone who might be a good tenant just because you’re unsure – get advice.