The RLA held a second meeting with Home Office and border control officials this week, to discuss the implications of the Government’s proposals to make landlords responsible for tenant immigration checks.
The discussion took place at Manchester Airport, where officials were keen to stress the ‘light touch’ approach that they aim to implement.
However, there are genuine concerns that there will not be enough clarity in the guidelines to define the boundaries of landlords’ liabilities, and these concerns were expressed by the RLA.
After the meeting, Andrew Goodacre, the RLA’s chief executive, said, “If the tenant immigration checks were simply about landlords photocopying prospective tenants’ ID documents and filing them away, then I do not think there would be many opponents to the Government’s proposals. However, we know Government simply doesn’t work like that, and a ‘light touch’ approach only lasts as long as the next Government crackdown.
“There are a number of flaws with the proposals, but most notably we are deeply concerned at where the boundary begins and ends between a landlord’s legal obligation and potential prosecution. This has yet to be clearly defined, and there is a danger that compliant landlords may find themselves criminalised through no fault of their own, at the whim of a border control case worker or the demands of political leaders.”