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Landlords face bans and jail under new housing laws

4 August 2015

Buy to let landlords face a host of new laws aimed at tackling renting homes to illegal immigrants and failing to maintain housing standards.

In a new wide ranging Immigration Bill, Communities Minster Greg Clark has outlined a host of new measures.

The revamped right to rent will include new measures making possessing homes easier for landlords if an immigrant has their right to stay in the UK ended.

At the same time, the rules crack down on landlords and letting agents exploiting illegal immigrants by setting up a blacklist of property owners and managers who ignore right to rent.

Repeat offenders could face fines, up to five years in prison and a ban on renting out private homes.

A stricter ‘fit and proper person’ test for owners and managers of licensed rents homes will also be introduced.

Clark said: “We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration – exploiting vulnerable people and undermining our immigration system.

“In future, landlords will be required to ensure that the people they rent their properties to are legally entitled to be in the country.

“We will also require them to meet their basic responsibilities as landlords, cracking down on those who rent out dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties.

“A new criminal offence will target unscrupulous landlords and letting agents who repeatedly fail to conduct the right to rent checks or fail to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from their property.”

The Bill has a number of other measures designed to help councils identify and prosecute bad landlords, including making landlords repay housing benefit payments if they fail to keep rented homes to a good standard and on-the-spot fixed penalty fines for some less serious housing offences.

The new powers under the bill only apply to England.