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Right To Rent: MPs confirm relaxation of criminal sanctions threat

MPs have approved measures that relax the previous threat of ‘immediate criminality’ for agents or landlords waiting to evict illegal immigrants.

Changes to the Immigration Bill, proposed by the government and approved yesterday, will provide protection for landlords who take reasonable steps in an appropriate time frame to terminate tenancies of tenants in the country illegally.

The original wording of the legislation meant agents and landlords would face immediate criminal sanctions upon discovery that they failed to ensure their tenants had the right to rent property before having the chance to evict them.

David Smith, policy director of the Residential Landlords Association - which has for some months been campaigning for the change, says: “The RLA welcomes the government’s pragmatic changes to its Right To Rent scheme that will provide protection for good landlords from the unintended consequences of the policy. It is particularly helpful that the changes were approved by MPs without a vote, a sign of cross party support for the measure."

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