Come December, landlords in Britain will have to do some background immigration checking on their prospective tenants before renting out their property. This is to ensure that those residing in UK have been legally cleared.
The NLA Tenant Check already in place helps private property landowners, screen potential tenants. Though controversial, the landlords in Birmingham and BlackCountry are likely to face a hefty punishment of £3000 if they do not comply.
The ‘right to rent’ drive introduced by the British Home Office is also a part of the drive to weed out illegal immigrants into UK. As proof of regular official practice a circular by the Office directs that, the status of every immigrant status and new tenant has to be verified to avoid discrimination Those that can be exempted are only close family members of the landlord.
In its first phase of checking, landlords from counties Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Walsall have been singled out to carry background checks on prospective tenants. These include:
- Request of evidence of the individual’s citizenship and identity proofs such as a biometric residence certificate
- Photocopies of proofs are kept for a year even after the tenancy is over
- Only upon successful implementation in these counties could the same be carried out in the whole of Britain
- Those below 18 years of age, student groups, student accommodations, hostels, refuges and local housing groups are exempted as this could lead to duplication of immigration checks
These measures are a part of the Immigration Act 2014 that takes strong measures to weed out illegal immigrants. The repercussions of this Act in the counties could see:
- Illegal immigrants lose their driving licenses
- Stronger authority upon authorized record keepers or registrars to document and report illegal marriages
- Heavy fining and streamlining of companies that employ unauthorized stay-ons
- Crackdown on unscrupulous greedy landlords who rent out unsafe, subhuman overcrowded accommodations to those that entered unlawfully
Reacting to the opposition voices of the Residential Landlords Association, UK’s Immigration Minister said, “The right to rent checks will be quick and simple, but will make it more difficult for immigration offenders to stay in the country when they have no right to be here. Landlords in the West Midlands will have all the advice and support they need in advance of the checks going live on 1st December.”
News Source: Work Permit.com
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