The Home Office has sent a reminder regarding private landlords conducting checks on tenants to ensure they can legally live in the UK. Read on for toolkits and guidance for tenancies that start on 1st December. The RLA has also organised two training sessions for landlords in the West Midlands, details here.
Recently codes of practice and guidance documents for landlords have been published on gov.uk . These documents will help landlords in the Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall and Dudley who should conduct right to rent checks on new tenancies starting from 1 December.
From 1 December landlords in these areas of the West Midlands could face a civil penalty of up to £3000 if they rent a property to someone without the right to rent in the UK.
The published documents explain how landlords can carry out these checks, what documents they can accept as well as how they should avoid unlawful discrimination.
Landlords can carry out a check up to 28 days before the tenancy agreement begins. The Home Office claims checks are straightforward and the majority of landlords will be able to conduct checks without having to contact the help line. Where the individual is unable to provide a landlord with relevant documentation either because they have an outstanding immigration application or appeal or because the Home Office has their documents, landlords can request a check from the Landlord Checking Service which went live on 03 November 2014 using the on line form.
Landlords can also call the dedicated helpline: 0300 069 9799 if they have concerns.
Guidance tool-kits are available here: Landlords: immigration right to rent checks
The RLA has opposed these measures in the past but reminds landlords that they have to work within the law.
The RLA has produced a variety of stories on this new pilot scheme: