Right to rent checks introduced for West Midlands landlords

By on 01/12/2014 in News

Landlords with properties in the West Midlands will face financial penalties if they rent properties or rooms to illegal migrants under legislation launched today (1 December).

Private landlords, letting agents and homeowners who let rooms will need to check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country if they want to avoid potentially facing a penalty of up to £3,000.

The legislation is initially being implemented in parts of the West Midlands including Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton and Birmingham City Council is working with the Home Office to publicise these requirements.  Events have been organised in Birmingham and across the region to help inform landlords about these changes, including a joint Landlord Forum with the National Landlord Association at the Council House today.

The government announced in September that the new ‘right to rent’ measures, introduced as part of the Immigration Act, would be phased in across the country.

Landlords will need to see evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, for example a passport or biometric residence permit.  Many responsible landlords already do this, and most legal tenants will have the correct documentation to hand.

Copies of the documentation will need to be taken as evidence that the checks have been carried out and retained for one year after the tenancy ends. Landlords should check everyone aged 18 over who will live in the property regardless of what they believe their nationality to be.

In most cases landlords will be able to carry out these simple checks without the need to contact the Home Office. In a limited number of cases, such as where tenants do not have their documents due to an ongoing Home Office application, landlords can request a check using the ‘right to rent’ tool at www.gov.uk They will receive an answer within two working days to confirm whether they can let to a particular individual.

Landlords can also use the tool to see if the checks have launched in their area and what their responsibilities are.  There is a helpline on 0300 069 9799.

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For further media enquiries contact: Catherine Ellis, Press Officer, Home Office, Immigration Enforcement and Visas: 0121 713 3187

Home Office Newsdesk: 020 7035 3535

For all the latest Home Office news, photos and video visit www.gov.uk/home-office

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