Martin & Co, the UK’s largest letting franchise group with 40,000 landlord clients, are already one step ahead of a new property law, requiring landlords to assess the immigration status of potential foreign tenants, with their specialist-referencing product, provided by The Landlord Hub.
A renewed approach to current immigration problems within the UK was the focal point of the laws set out by the Queen at the state opening of Parliament, which has received mixed responses from landlords, lawyers and governing bodies. This week it appears that the legislation is already being watered down and will potentially only apply to “problem areas” however there is no official definition of what constitutes a problem area and one may assume that when the legislation is enforced in a “problem area” there is the strong likelihood that the “problem” may well move to another “area”.
The new law states that fines will be issued for landlords if they do not comply with the regulations. This has been met with some resistance from property lawyers. The head of residential property at London law firm Wedlake Bell, Jeremy Raj, responds to the change: “Expecting landlords to carry out the work of immigration officials is unreasonable and unworkable. It will create delays and uncertainty in an already difficult market, and clearly the vast majority of landlords will have no idea of how to go about it”
Local Martin & Co franchise owner Mark Beckett explains how Martin & Co landlords can avoid this worry: “Smart agents will already be identity checking their prospective tenants, and establishing whether they are entitled to be in the country or not. If you are a private landlord conducting your own tenant referencing on a DIY basis then your job is going to be made that much harder and with more downside risk if you get it wrong. But frankly this is not a job for an amateur approach – if you don’t use the latest credit history verification technology you run the risk of 3% to 5% of your portfolio income disappearing in bad debts. At Martin & Co we are confident of achieving less than 1% default rate and if we approve a tenant through the Landlord Hub who subsequently defaults then we will pay for the cost of legal eviction”.
Landlords - to ensure you stay on the right side of the new legislation, talk to Martin & Co Stoke-on-Trent now on 01782 262880 or visit us at 44 Piccadilly, Hanley who will provide you with a service you can rely on.