As you are no doubt aware, especially following the recent and ongoing publicity of illegal immigrants trying to gain access to the UK, there is a huge focus on stopping such people coming into the country. However, what you may not yet know about is the proposals contained in the new Immigration Bill that, if approved could impact on you as a landlord.
This new bill would require landlords to evict illegal immigrants from their rented properties. It would not always be necessary to obtain a court order to do so which is what is required at the moment. In addition, landlords would also have to make sure that a potential new tenant has the required papers permitting them to reside in the UK. The later procedure has been trialed successfully in parts of the West Midlands since August 2014.
The Immigration Bill would make it a new criminal offence if such prospective tenants were not closely vetted by landlords to make sure that they have the required paperwork confirming that they are allowed to remain in this country. Also, if it were decided that a tenant must leave the UK because they should not be in this country and the landlord does not co-operate in evicting him or her then it would also be a criminal offence. The penalty for a landlord, if convicted, could be a fine and as much as 5 years in prison.
Concern has been expressed by the National Landlords Association who felt, for instance, that some illegal immigrants occupying tenanted properties could prove confrontational when asked to leave the rented premises.It will be interesting to see how the above proposals progress. Will they be amended in some way or even cancelled or will the bill be passed without any changes? We will keep our landlord readers up to date with any developments.