The government is proposing placing obligations on private landlords to check the immigration status of their prospective tenants
The proposals will undoubtedly increase the paperwork that landlords will need to keep so excellent record keeping becomes even more necessary. It appears that landlords will be able to outsource the work to their letting agents or other organisations
Before signing the tenancy agreement and before giving the tenant any keys, a landlord will need to inspect and keep a copy of documentation which proves that the tenant is entitled to live in the UK.
In most cases this will be a passport, but other documentation such as birth certificates, identity cards, driving licenses etc can also be used.
The Government have reiterated that landlords will not be expected to detect ‘fraud’- just use common sense when looking at documents and report anything they feel is suspicious.
An enquiry service will be operated by the Home Office to help landlords answer any queries they may have over a tenant’s status.
The procedures will work in much the same way as it does for employers when recruiting new staff.
Landlord will be fined if they do not follow the procedures that are likely to come into play mid 2014.
For more information visit www.gov.uk/immigration