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LANDLORDS TO EVICT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS



Tue 11 August 2015 EILEEN BRADLEY
EILEEN BRADLEY >

Trainee Solicitor

Under the proposals to be included in the upcoming Immigration Bill for landlords in England, the Home Office would be able to issue a Notice when an asylum application fails which confirms that the tenant no longer has the right to rent property. This means that landlords will have power to end the tenancy, without a court order in some circumstances.

In addition, landlords will also be required to carry out ’right to rent’ checks on each tenant's immigration status before allowing them to move in.

The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a requirement for landlords of private rental accommodation to conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK. However the requirements only came into force in some parts of the UK. Now these requirements apply more widely. These ‘right to rent’ checks will only apply to new tenancy agreements. Existing tenancy agreements are unaffected and landlords will not be required to carry out retrospective checks. The requirements apply to all adults (aged 18 and over) living at the property.

Landlords who repeatedly fail to do either of above would face a new offence carrying a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or a fine up to a maximum of £3,000. That planned change in the law comes other changes (some of which have been piloted elsewhere in the country) which, it is hoped, will deter people from outside the EU who plan to come to the UK from doing so.

The Chief Executive of the National Landlords’ Association, Richard Lambert, has accused the government of proposing the plan (to imprison repeat offenders) “out of the blue” (with no consultation) and as a response to the Calais migrant crisis. He has warned that the proposed changes could lead to tenants “doing very desperate things”.

There has been further criticism of the plan on the basis that it may force such tenants into social housing, increasing the burden on the public purse.

It is not clear yet how the scheme will work or what impact it may have. In the light of the criticisms, there must be some doubt as to whether the proposals will ever come into force.

Under the proposals to be included in the upcoming Immigration Bill for landlords in England, the Home Office would be able to issue a Notice when an asylum application fails which confirms that the tenant no longer has the right to rent property. This means that landlords will have power to end the tenancy, without a court order in some circumstances.

In addition, landlords will also be required to carry out ’right to rent’ checks on each tenant's immigration status before allowing them to move in.

The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a requirement for landlords of private rental accommodation to conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK. However the requirements only came into force in some parts of the UK. Now these requirements apply more widely. These ‘right to rent’ checks will only apply to new tenancy agreements. Existing tenancy agreements are unaffected and landlords will not be required to carry out retrospective checks. The requirements apply to all adults (aged 18 and over) living at the property.

Landlords who repeatedly fail to do either of above would face a new offence carrying a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment or a fine up to a maximum of £3,000. That planned change in the law comes other changes (some of which have been piloted elsewhere in the country) which, it is hoped, will deter people from outside the EU who plan to come to the UK from doing so.

The Chief Executive of the National Landlords’ Association, Richard Lambert, has accused the government of proposing the plan (to imprison repeat offenders) “out of the blue” (with no consultation) and as a response to the Calais migrant crisis. He has warned that the proposed changes could lead to tenants “doing very desperate things”.

There has been further criticism of the plan on the basis that it may force such tenants into social housing, increasing the burden on the public purse.

It is not clear yet how the scheme will work or what impact it may have. In the light of the criticisms, there must be some doubt as to whether the proposals will ever come into force.


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