Landlords in the West Midlands are being targeted for new tenant immigration checks in a new government pilot scheme to tackle illegal immigration in the UK.
Introduced in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton, the pilot scheme requires landlords to check the tenants’ right to live in the UK, or face fines of up to £3,000.
These checks only apply to new tenancy agreements for all adults aged 18 before allowing them to rent the property. Existing tenancy agreements are not affected and landlords are not being asked to carry out retrospective checks.
When the new laws are rolled out to the rest of the UK, they will impact the 8.3 million people thought to be living in rented accommodation.
The new rules are expected to come as a shock to many landlords throughout the UK. Statistics* show that alarmingly 40% of landlords perform no checks on tenants, under a third carry out credit checks, ask for employer or previous landlord references.
Of the estimated 8.3 million tenants in the UK, some tenants are taking advantage of these landlord failings. 60% of tenants admit to breaking rental agreement terms in the past, 26% have paid their rent late at some point, 18% have kept pets without permission and 8% have sub-let to someone else without permission. Even 8% of tenants have committed a crime in their rental homes when only 5% of landlords carry out criminal checks on their tenants.
Landlords of Martin & Co are properly safeguarded. Our highly-trained agents ensure landlords are fully compliant and up-to-date on all legislations affecting their properties, including the checks being introduced by the Immigration Bill.
‘Accidental’ or inexperienced landlords in particular are the most at risk of falling foul of changing property legislations and stand to benefit most from the protection a reputable agent, like Martin & Co, can offer. Unintentional landlords often do not realise all the legal regulations and duties involved in letting property, not to mention safety checks, maintenance responsibilities and tax implications. Professional agents can take the stress out of the new letting experience and keep you on the right side of the law.
At Martin & Co, our thorough identity and credit checking procedures are designed to protect landlords, manage your risk and prevent any fraudulent activity or non or late payment of rent. Our tenant referencing systems operate using the latest technology which allows us to monitor your tenants’ general credit performance throughout the tenancy, and we will inform you if there’s any changes in circumstances which may affect their ability to pay. Rest assured, if we recommend a tenant to you and they fail to pay their rent, it won’t cost you a penny in legal fees to remove them from your property.
What’s more, Martin & Co’s Rent and Legal Protection insurance includes free eviction cover for the entire length of the policy, no matter which service level you choose, and covers payment of the full rent should the tenants go into arrears.
For Student Landlords, these new immigration rules should have very little effect on their usual practice as UK universities monitor and check the immigration status of students as standard.
If you are concerned about what the Immigration checks mean for you, or would like to find out more contact your local Martin & Co office
or visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice
[font_italic]*Source: AXA [/font_italic]