The Conservative government has announced proposed changes that will affect all landlords in the UK.
The new proposals are aimed to put a greater responsibility on Landlords to check that their tenants are legally living in the UK and not to house illegal immigrants. Landlords have taken very strongly against such proposals as there are talks about imprisoning Landlords up to five years, penalties and further sanctions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
One Landlord made the following comments: " why should we be responsible for doing such checks, when the government , UK Border Agency, Immigration and Customs and Police have failed the last buck stops with us!"
There are also further complications which arise for landlords and thus such proposals may be too onerous. For Example a landlord may give a property to a person who has a current application being considered by the UK Border Agency. In such circumstances the landlord will not be at fault as the person would be allowed to stay in the UK until the outcome of his case is considered. However issues arise if the case is refused by the UK Border Agency and the landlord may then have to evict the tenant or insist on seeing documentation to show that the application is still pending. This can lead to difficulty between landlord and tenants and furthermore is very onerous upon landlords.
Landlords have already expressed concerns with current legislation in which tenants are afforded far too many rights. Those unfortunate landlords who need to evict tenants face a very time consuming lengthily Court process which can cost up to £2,000 as well as not receiving rent during this process.
The consultation process ends on the 27th August 2015 and applies to England only.
If you have any concerns about how this will affect you as a landlord, contact our property team</> today for legal advice.