New parts of the Immigration Act 2016 come into effect today, consolidating the Right To Rent regulations that came into effect back in February.
From today agents acting on behalf of landlords, or landlords themselves if they manage tenancies, will be committing a criminal offence if they have "reasonable cause to believe" that the apartment or house they are letting is being rented by a tenant disqualified under Right To Rent regulations.
From today, if a landlord or managing agent serves a Section 8 notice which does not specifically refer to the Immigration Act 2016, it is regarded as invalid and tenants will have a technical defence to possession proceedings.
It is now also an offence for agents who have "reasonable cause to believe" that their landlord client is letting to a tenant disqualified because of their immigration status, and who go ahead with the management of the property.
The penalties for both offences on indictment are imprisonment for up to five years and/or an unlimited fine; penalties on summary conviction are imprisonment for up to 12 months and/or, again, an unlimited fine.
Government guidance on the latest documentation for Right To Rent can be found here.