Immigration Bill changes removes immediate criminalisation threat to landlords

Alan Ward
Alan Ward

Landlords taking ‘reasonable steps’ will no longer be immediately criminalised for failing to pick up illegal tenants following changes to the UK government’s Right to Rent legislation.

Previously under the Immigration Bill, landlords would face immediate criminal sanctions upon discovery that they failed to ensure their tenants had the right to rent property in the United Kingdom.

The legislation was went live throughout England last month following a pilot scheme in the West Midlands but a date has yet to be confirmed for when the policy will be rolled out across the rest of the UK.

Now changes to the Bill will provide protection for landlords who take reasonable steps in an appropriate time frame to terminate tenancies of those living in the country illegally.

The government has also agreed to look at changes to regulations to enable landlords to provide information such as tenancy deposit schemes to tenants via email instead of in paper form as is currently required.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which campaigned for both changes, has welcomed the government’s proposals.

RLA chairman, Alan Ward, said: “The RLA warmly welcomes the government’s pragmatic changes to its Right to Rent scheme that will provide protection for good landlords from the unintended consequences of the policy.

“It is also welcome that the government is willing to look at how electronic information can be better used to provide tenants with the legal information they require. In the 21st Century it is ridiculous that landlords are expected to print so much paper when it can be provided at the simple click of the button.”

Share icon
Share this article: