Following a successful pilot scheme that was introduced earlier this year in the West Midlands, the government have decided that scheme will be introduced throughout England and Wales in February 2016.
The new rules are part of the Immigration Act 2014 which introduced measures to reform the immigration system. Right to rent is about deterring those who are illegally resident from remaining in the UK. Those with a legitimate right to be here will be able to prove this easily and will not be adversely affected.
In affect all Agents and Landlords will become front‑line staff in the Government’s bid to “deal with those who should not be here” and must check tenants have the correct visa or nationality to live in England.
A British, EEA or Swiss national, for example, automatically has a right to rent. But most non-EU citizens will need a visa.
To escape penalties, landlords need to obtain original documents, check that they are genuine and make a clear copy of each document. Fines of up to £3,000 could be imposed for those failing to make the checks.
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