Immigrant checks would be 'light touch', Prisk promises

Immigrant checks would be 'light touch', Prisk promises

The immigration status of tenants will only have to be checked under a ‘light touch’ regime, housing minister Mark Prisk has said.  

Prisk was speaking to MPs who were asking questions about proposals unveiled in the Queen’s Speech which will make landlords responsible for checking whether their tenants have a right to be in the UK.

If landlords fail in their duties, they have been threatened with heavy fines.

Few details, including responsibilities delegated to agents, have yet been spelled out, but Prisk told MPs that the new rules would not be over-burdensome.

He said: “What we’re asking for is all landlords undertake that basic check to see people are who they are and they are entitled to be here.

“The intention is to make it light-touch. We’re working on the proposals at the moment and we don’t want to make it unduly onerous. The idea is to make sure someone takes a reasonable step to check someone’s identity and that would naturally be a passport.”

Prisk also dismissed suggestions that a national registration scheme for landlords would be set up, but said that selective licensing schemes could be more widely used.

He said: “If there’s a good argument demonstrated that a significant proportion of local authorities would welcome an extension, I would certainly be happy to look at the evidence.”