One of the UK letting industry’s leading agents says politicians should defer the new Right To Rent immigration checks until the start of next year, following a summer of confusion.
Lisa Simon, head of lettings for Carter Jonas, says the recent confusion over whether or not smoke alarm regulations would be implemented came on top of important changes to Section 21 notices for possession, all to be implemented on October 1.
Agents and landlords face still further changes after Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that Right to Rent legislation covering lettings to immigrants would come into effect at some point this autumn as well.
“There is just too much change to absorb at short notice” says Simon.
“The House of Lords decided there had not been enough consultation on smoke and CO alarm legislation and rejected it with three weeks to go. Landlords thought they had a reprieve in meeting the deadline only to find this week that the legislation had gone through with exactly two weeks to the deadline so those who prevaricated now need to rush to avoid possible £5,000 fines” she says.
Simon says that on top of this, Section 21 notice rules are supposed to have been clarified but many are still unclear about them despite the October 1 start date.
“Last December, a trial of rules that required landlords and lettings agents to check the immigration status of all tenants was introduced in the West Midlands. After the election, David Cameron revealed that the national roll-out would take place this autumn. Well, autumn is here and no-one has any idea what is going on” she adds.
“Right to Rent coming in now, with so many people on the move across Europe to claim refugee status and what some have unkindly called swarms of people trying to cross from France, would be an absolute nightmare.
“It must not go ahead until things are more settled, both in terms of population movement and discovering just how effective the trial period has been.”