More News on the Government’s New Legislation regarding immigrants in Letting accommodation.

The Law making Landlords responsible for ensuring that their tenants are legally allowed to reside in the UK will be enforced, now from the 1st December,  in various regions (to be advised) with a rapid roll out nationally. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. Fines starting at three thousand pounds for each illegal occupant of the rental property.

The Liability has been firmly placed on the shoulders of the Landlord for proving that the tenant has ‘the right to rent.’ This can only be circumvented if the Landlord gets written confirmation that his/her appointed Agent has agreed to take on this responsibility. If there is no written confirmation, the responsibility will fall back on the Landlord.

Smartmove will issue all its Landlords with this important document.

If the named tenant sub-lets without the Agent’s or the Landlords knowledge then the Liability will be that of the tenant who allowed the sub-let. (unusual to find a little fairness in Government legislation).

So what do you have to do? We’ll if you’re a Smartmove Landlord, very little. Just ensure that you have written confirmation that Smartmove are accepting the responsibility.

If not you have to obtain relevant documentary evidence that they have a right to reside in the UK. This will mean taking copies of Passports, Identity Cards, Visas etc. Checking the list of countries from which immigration is allowed and noting those from which it is not. It is also worth remembering that even if the proposed tenant has a visa that allows them to stay you must take note of the term of that visa. In other words, you cannot grant a twelve month lease to a person whose visa runs out in less than twelve months.

As you will be taking copies of personal documents you will also need a ‘Data Protection’ Licence.

Of course if you are with Smartmove this will be covered in your Agent agreement as part of the service.

I hope that you have found this informative and look forward to advising you of any further developments to help safeguard your investment.

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