What landlords need to know about tenant immigration checks?

Last month we posted an analysis of the Queen’s Speech  to Parliament, explaining exactly what various new policies and regulations would mean for the private rental sector, and for landlords in particular. We received an overwhelming response to that post, and many of the comments expressed concern and frustration regarding the proposed immigration checks on tenants which landlords will be expected by law to carry out.

They are not alone in their frustration. Why, exactly, does this responsibility fall to the private landlord? It is not up to them to act as unpaid immigration officers. If the worker is in the UK, and fulfils all other requirements for tenancy, such as providing references and passing a credit check, that should suffice, surely? And if not, then why not put this new mandatory screening process in the hands of designated immigration specialists, or even letting agents? At present, the suggested nationwide roll-out only looks set to further complicate the lives of tenants and landlords.

What you need to know about tenant migrant checks:

  • The scheme has been trialled in the West Midlands for the last six months, although official findings have not yet been released.
  • David Cameron is keen to implement this programme across the UK.
  • Landlords who do not comply will face a fine of up to £3,000.

There is no news as yet on when these checks will become enforced in the UK, but we are monitoring the situation closely. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself from troublesome tenants, there are a number of helpful tools available.

  • Mitigate financial risk by carrying out a free credit check on prospective renters.
  • Leave the entire process to professionals with ‘Let My Property’, which encompasses comprehensive credit checks. No let, no fee.