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MPs have been discussing the controversial Immigration Bill which aims to limit the grounds on which immigrants can appeal to stay in the UK.

There are a number of facets to the Bill but within it lies one which could have huge implications for the private rented sector.

Under the proposed legislation private sector landlords will face penalties - in the form of fines - if they rent premises to illegal migrants.

But how would this work in practice in terms of making the checks required and what might be the implications for letting agents? Tell us what you think using the comment section below


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    To be fair, this situation has only arisen twice in the 10 years I have been doing lettings. In 1 case we put a break clause in saying notice can be given if the tenants visa is not expired and the other, the tenant worked for a big well known IT company and the landlord was happy for him to move in with a shorter visa as his company guaranteed the rent if he didn't manage to renew it.

    I have had tenants in my office refuse to show original copies of passports and then scream racism as we wont let them move in without seeing original I.D.

    • 05 February 2014 16:42 PM
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    South London Agent - How would you explain to your landlord if you grant a tenancy to a person with a visa for 3 months and it wasn't renewed so they left the country. he would see you as negligent for not protecting him against this possibility.

    Have you thought about only providing the tenant with an agreement for the period that their visa is valid for with an option to renew with the caveat that a renewed visa is to be provided?

    • 04 February 2014 16:13 PM
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    Landlords should work with a professional letting agent. Professional agents take all of the necessary steps to verify the tenants identity, financial status and residency. The majority of professional agents work with a tenant referencing partner and obtain quality reports that have a full audit trail. With ever increasing legislation and administration, landlords who self-manage should seriously consider taking up the services of a professional agent; without doubt the costs outweigh the risks and more often than not ‘net’ yields are improved.

    • 04 February 2014 12:13 PM
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    I completely agree with both posts below.

    • 04 February 2014 11:11 AM
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    @ South London Agent on 2014-02-04 09:12:39

    In my view this proposed requirement of landlords is just plain wrong.
    Obtaining proof of identity is one thing
    acting as an immigration officer to prove that an individual is legally in the country is another!
    The two should not be confused.

    • 04 February 2014 10:31 AM
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    We already take copies of passports as proof of I.D for all tenants, national or international. If the applicant is not from the EU we do take copies of visa's BUT if the visa expires before the end of the initial agreement, we do not stop the application going ahead and the tenant moving into the property subject to references.

    If we refuse to let a property to someone who has a valid visa at time of application but expires before the end of the agreement, what are the implications on grounds of discrimination if the tenant insists they will renew their visa on expiry?

    • 04 February 2014 09:12 AM