As a landlord, you have a responsibility to restrict illegal immigrants accessing the private rented sector.
Landlords are legally required to check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. A wide range of documents can be used for the checks, and the Government has worked closely with housing and homelessness charities to design a document list which can accommodate different individual circumstances. This includes where people do not have traditional identity documents such as a passport.
There are resources available to help landlords comply with these rules, including an online checking aid which landlords can use to guide them through the process and to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office.
Immigration Act 2016
The Home Secretary announced on 4 October that provisions in the 2016 Immigration Act relevant to the private rented sector will be brought into force across England. Today, we can announce that, as of 1 December 2016, these two further measures will come into force. They will:
- Make it easier for private landlords to evict illegal migrant tenants.
- Create new criminal offences for rogue landlords and agents who knowingly, or with reasonable cause to believe, let to illegal migrants.
The measures demonstrate the Government’s commitment to tackle illegal immigration, and its determination to take the necessary steps to protect public services and access to the private rented sector for our lawful residents. Today, we are sharing the news of this implementation date with you and the key points below.
- From 1 December, landlords could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant.
- From 1 December landlords can end tenancies for occupants with no right to rent.
- For details of these specific measures, please visit the Residential Tenancies fact-sheet available on Gov.uk
- For information on the wider Immigration Act measures, please visit the Immigration Act page on Gov.uk.
Further information about both provisions will be made available on Gov.uk between now and December. If you have any further questions you may refer to your Local Partnership Manager, if you are unsure who this is please email the LPM Support Team (I&SDLPMSupportTeam@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk).
Immigration inspection service
If one of your tenants wants a family member to immigrate to the UK to live with them, they may be required to provide a report to the British High Commission about the place where they intend to live.
The report should confirm that the proposed accommodation is in a satisfactory condition and will not become statutorily overcrowded if other people move in.
We provide a service to inspect accommodation and issue a report. This service costs £229.50,plus an hourly rate of up to £83.50 for re-visits and/or additional advice (2016/17 prices). You must give the Council the fee before the inspection takes place. All prices quoted exclude VAT.
They must pay the Council the fee before the inspection takes place.
Please note that the accommodation must be owned or occupied exclusively by them or their family.