The Right to Rent scheme was first trialled in the West Midlands when the Immigration Act 2014 was introduced to England. It requires landlords to check prospective tenants immigration status before they let a property to them. If they don’t meet the requirements, the property should not be let to them.
The Home office has released statistics that show the Right to Rent enforcement is increasing and more landlords have been fined in this crackdown on illegal immigration. The fines total £163,000 and were spread amongst 236 property owners since February 2016. The statistics show that the number of landlords fined has tripled in just over a year.
There are new criminal sanctions that landlords can face if they fail to carry out their duties in respect of Right To Rent. If they fail they could face up to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine on prosecution. There is also an existing £3,000 civil penalty for each person found not to have a Right To Rent.
Michael Parkes Surveyors Associate Director Emma Catterall comments “This shows the situation is serious and it is just another piece of legislation amongst many that we have to be aware of as reputable letting agents. Our company, Michael Parkes Surveyors Ltd is a member of Property Mark – ARLA and keeps up to date with what we have to do. Please consider if you will be letting your own property whether you are aware of all these things and how you will keep abreast of changes to legislation. Although some may consider the cost of an agent an unnecessary expense it is nothing in comparison to the fines if something goes wrong because you didn’t know about it.”