A new scheme is being piloted in the West Midlands to help ensure that tenants do in fact have the legal right to rent a home in the UK. As part of the Immigration Act 2014, under the new rules landlords would face a £3,000 fine if they are found to not have taken the necessary steps to check whether their tenant has the right to rent in the UK.
Landlords would have to ask for proof of identity and citizenship and in some instances may need to use the Home Office’s helpline or online ’right to rent’ tool to help verify a tenant’s status.
James Brokenshire, Security and Immigration minister adds that the new rules are aimed at protecting tenants and “act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out overcrowded and unsafe accommodation”. However, the changes have also been criticised by many landlord groups and politicians who maintain that the proposals are unworkable.
The scheme is currently being trialled in the West Midlands, with a view to discussing a potential roll out of the scheme in 2015.