Landlords that knowingly rent out property to people who have no right to rent in the UK could be sent to prison.
In her speech to the Conservative Party Conference Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP announced that from December landlords ignoring the Right to Rent rules brought in this February will be committing a criminal offence and could be jailed.
She said the party is committed to reducing net migration to sustainable levels of ‘tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands’.
She said: “Today, I am announcing that from December, landlords that knowingly rent out property to people who have no right to be here will be committing a criminal offence. They could go to prison.”
She also announced a £140m Controlling Migration Fund to ease the pressures on public services in areas of high migration – and to fund enforcement operations against criminal landlords.
She said: “The fund will build on work we have done to support local authorities; to stop giving housing benefit to people that have no right to be in the country; to reduce rough sleeping by illegal immigrants and to crack down on the rogue landlords who house illegal migrants in the most appalling conditions.”
Under the Immigration Act 2016 it is an offence to knowingly let a property to an illegal immigrant. Landlords are also legally required to carry out follow up checks if someone has a time-limited right to rent and are responsible for reporting those without right to rent to the Home Office.
Penalties can range from unlimited fines to jail sentences of up to five years.
However, after campaigning from the RLA landlords have a defence and are not considered to be committing an offence if they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to terminate the tenancy promptly on becoming aware of the problem.
For more information about the Immigration Act and Right to Rent click here.
To read the full speech click here.