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New Immigration Bill will make it a criminal offence for landlords to breach ‘Right to Rent’ rules

30 September 2015

New Immigration Bill will make it a criminal offence for landlords to breach ‘Right to Rent’ rulesThe Government has published the Immigration Bill for 2015/16, which carries various implications for landlords. The bill, which intends to repress illegal immigration, will make it a criminal offence for landlords and agents acting on their behalf, to breach ‘Right to Rent’ scheme rules.

This scheme was introduced and has been piloted in the West Midlands over the last year and is in current evaluation by the Government before its enforcement across England.

Those who fail to check the immigration status of their tenants could be imprisoned or fined for up to five years. In practice this means that there will also be consequences for those who know, or have reason to know, that a tenant has no right to rent.

Landlords checking the immigration status of potential tenants is seen as a way to reduce the exploitation of illegal immigrants.

The 2015 bill has also introduced important rules on eviction. Landlords will have the power to evict tenants who have lost the right to live within the UK without a court order. Under eviction proposals from landlords within England, the Home Office would issue a notice when an asylum application fails confirming that the tenant no longer has the right to rent.

There will be a specified 28 day notice for the tenant to quit the tenancy and leave the policy. This will be seen as an enforceable notice as if it was published from the High Court.

It is not clear what will happen if the tenant disappeared before the 28 days have passed.

You can read the bill in full here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-bill-2015-16

In addition, you can read the Bill and Explanatory notes here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2015-2016/0074/15074.pdf

The bill is expected to have its second reading this month, make sure you keep up to date with the progress of this bill on our social medial channels and website.