Landlords: check your tenants
The Immigration Act 2014 (which comes into force in October 2014) places a duty on landlords to prevent non-British nationals from renting private housing by introducing compulsory document checks to verify the identity and immigration status of potential tenants. The legislation is initially being implemented in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton but is expected to be gradually introduced to the rest of the UK next year.
Failure to comply with the Act could result in fines of up to £3,000. The actual penalty amount will be decided on a case-by-case basis with various factors being taken into account including whether a penalty has been paid before; whether there are multiple illegal migrants; and whether the person breaking the rules is a private individual renting out their home. The Act will not apply to tenancy agreements which are already in existence before the Act is implemented or to renewals of such pre-existing tenancies.
For more information about these checks contact any member of our team.b