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Posted on July 15th 2015 by admin-movingin

Immigration checks could be rolled out from this autumn, claim

A law firm has claimed that Right to Rent – the duty by a landlord or their agent to do immigration status checks on tenants – could be rolled out nationally from this autumn.

Paragon Law, which has Right2Rent as a trading name, claims that the Home Office is bringing forward its evaluation of the trial of Right to Rent that has been going on in the west midlands since last December.

Paragon Law’s Right2Rent was set up specifically to help landlords, agents and tenants through the complexities of UK immigration law.

In a blog on its site, the law firm says: “At present, new rules for landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants are currently being piloted in the areas of Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

“Landlords within these areas are currently under a duty to undertake checks of the immigration status of their tenants.

“If they do not carry out checks, they can be fined up to £3,000 per tenant that is renting a property if they do not have a right to rent.

“The pilot has been running from 1 December 2014 and landlords in the above areas have been getting to grips with the new system of rules, or delegating the responsibility for carrying out checks to agents to carry out checks on their behalf.

“The government have not yet confirmed when the new rules will be rolled out nationwide.

“However, contrary to previous indications, the Home Office’s evaluation of the pilot period is being brought forward so that a report can be published earlier, with the indication being that the right to rent rules will be rolled out nationwide from autumn 2015.

“This would mean that the requirements for landlords to check the immigration status will take effect for all landlords, regardless of where they are in the UK.

“If the roll-out does go ahead as planned, landlords and letting agents across the country will need to put in place procedures to ensure that they do not get caught out by the new requirements.

“Given the large number of different documents which can prove a person’s permission to be in the UK, there are concerns over whether landlords or letting agents will have the expertise to carry out the checks properly.

“There are also concerns that landlords or letting agents will become subject to discrimination claims if they wrongly refuse to rent a property to tenants on immigration grounds.”