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Immigration Act Checks for Residential Tenants Come Into Force

Legislation Affects Landlords of Properties In West Midlands Prior To Wider Rollout


New legislation has been introduced in the West Midlands which means landlords may be fined if they fail to check whether tenants are in the country legally.
The Immigration Act 2014 is aimed at making it more difficult for illegal migrants to rent accommodation, with the legislation introducing a penalty for landlords of private rental properties who fail to check to ensure that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK.
If a landlord fails to carry out such a check and is found to have rented a property to an illegal migrant, then they will be liable for a civil penalty of up to £3,000.
The requirement to check the legality of the tenant will only apply to new tenancies from this date and existing tenancies will be unaffected. The requirements will apply to all adults living at a property.
The Act is coming into force on a phased geographical basis and has come into force in the West Midlands from today. The rest of the United Kingdom will follow on a phased basis in 2015.

Expert Opinion
This is a potentially difficult area for landlords when letting properties so it is vital they are clear on this issue.

"They should be careful to ensure that the provisions of the Act are complied with, as the financial penalties are significant if they fail to do so."
Doug Robertson, Partner

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