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Agents "may not master immigration papers"Many letting agents and landlords will not understand complex immigration documents which even border officials have difficulties understanding according to a leading property consultancy.

Under the Immigration Act, which will take effect from October, lettings agents , private landlords and even those taking in lodgers under the national Rent-A-Room' scheme will have to vet their tenants to ensure they are legally entitled to reside in the country.

There will be fines running into thousands of pounds for those failing to undertake the necessary checks or failing to prevent illegal immigrants from renting.

Now Simon Perkins, a partner at the Nottingham and Mansfield agency PWR Property Consultants, has become the first agent to say that although the new measure may help drive some rogue tenants and landlords out of the market, there will a significant cost for the industry.

The new legislation will mean that both letting agents and landlords will need to ensure that all tenants have a so-called Right to Rent he says. As a result, extra checks on prospective tenants looking to rent a property will need to be made before they are allowed to move in.

There is huge concern against letting agents and landlords, that many will not be equipped to correctly interpret the complex documents that even border officials have difficulties understanding he says.

Industry bodies including RICS and the NLA have voiced their opposition to the scheme, with some suggesting that the government was wrong to ask landlords and agents to operate as an arm of the Border Control service.

A so-called Impact Assessment' statement issued by the government claims that at the moment housing is an important enabler of illegal migration which is why agents and landlords will be required to check residency status from October onwards.

The policy is also intended to tackle the exploitation of migrants by rogue landlords claims the government.

Comments

  • icon

    great..
    very good info
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    • 14 February 2015 07:38 AM
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    Agreed - this isn't rocket science, although it's a bit harsh to hold agencies and landlords accountable with a fine.

    It's not going to change anything for us in Martin & Co Folkestone since we've been checking people's right to reside in the UK since we opened our doors.. frankly it's poor service to a landlord to rent their property to a tenant who could get turfed out of the country at any time..

    If you want to know more about how we check a tenant, deal with renewals and periodic tenancies for VISA holders and a link to the full requirements check out our blog: [url="http://folkestoneproperty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/heavy-fines-for-landlords-not.html"]http://folkestoneproperty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/heavy-fines-for-landlords-not.html[/url]

    • 19 June 2014 08:42 AM
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    The big problem is agents not wanting to understand it, approaching it from a negative viewpoint and adopting the same knee jerk attitude to it that they did with the post contact address in Prescribed Information, and getting into a right lather about it.

    The main thing to remember here is that the number of cases any agent will deal with will, in all probability, be extremely small and the main contact is likely to be overseas students from non EU countries.

    Unless an agent specialises in housing non EU citizens how many such cases has the average agency dealt with in say the last two years

    This is not a problem, just study what is required and apply it, really it is not that difficult. If in any doubt decline the applicant because they do not, in your opinion, satisfy the Right to Rent requirements unless they can prove to you that they do.

    • 19 June 2014 08:18 AM
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