Private landlords to bear the brunt of Right to Rent scheme
PRIVATE landlords are most at risk following the introduction of the Right to Rent scheme across the whole
PRIVATE landlords are most at risk following the introduction of the Right to Rent scheme across the whole of England.
The legislation came into effect on February 1 and means that any landlord’s housing tenants that do not supply valid documents to satisfy the requirements of the Immigration Act 2014 will face up to £3,000 worth of fines per person.
Michael Cook, managing director of Romans Lettings, said: “Right to Rent is being introduced as part of the Government’s reforms to build a fairer and more effective immigration system, and unfortunately it’s the private landlords that are most at risk of facing the fines. All private landlords or their agents — including those subletting or taking lodgers — will have to make the checks to see if their tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting their property.
“The Government has outlined what documents, or combination of documents, can be checked to prove a tenant has a right to rent in the UK, and these must be seen, with the tenant(s) present, for all tenancies starting from February 1.
“As an established lettings agency we already implement strict referencing criteria, and as soon as we were alerted of the Right to Rent scheme we employed an external company to train members of our lettings department in checking the documents required to prove each applicant’s right to rent in the UK — and how to identify fraudulent documents.
“We also invested in ultraviolet scanners which aid us in this process. These initiatives come with a cost and the Government cannot expect private landlords to pay out these expenses.
“I believe it’s actually unfair to put this extra pressure on landlords, particularly given the important role they play in today’s UK housing market.”