Landlords given protection from criminal consequences of Immigration Bill
Right to Rent checks became a legal requirement for landlords throughout England to carry out on tenants from February this year. The requirement has been seen by many landlords as an unnecessary extra responsibility carrying out checks that should be made by customs and immigration.
It was announced last month that landlords will no longer be immediately criminalised for failing to report or rent to illegal immigrants with no right to stay.
Now changes to the Immigration Bill, proposed by the UK government and approved this week, 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 Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which represents landlords in England and Wales, has campaigned hard for this change to the scheme.
RLA policy director, David Smith, 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 particularly helpful that the changes were approved by MPs without a vote, a sign of cross party support for the measure.”
A date has yet to be confirmed for when the Right to Rent policy will be rolled out across the rest of the UK.