The government intends to create the new criminal offence as part of the Immigration Bill, which is currently before parliament. It has published a consultation setting out detailed new measures to crack down on “rogue” landlords, which would also include new fit and proper person tests for residential property landlords and create a “blacklist” of persistent offenders.
Since December 2014, landlords in the West Midlands have been forced to check the immigration status of their tenants or face a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant.
Under the proposed Immigration Bill landlords would be expected to evict tenants as soon as the Home Office told them the tenant had no right to rent in the UK.
John Stewart, from the Residential Landlords Association, said that requiring checks means that, on business grounds, ‘it makes more sense to rent to people who will have quick access to documents.’
In a mystery-shopping exercise carried out during the trial, properties were offered to a British tenant but not a foreigner in 11 out of 27 cases.
The flagship policy was plunged into confusion when it was unveiled on Monday amid doubts it will lead to anyone being kicked out of Britain.
Letting Agent today has recently published a blog post claiming that the pilot scheme for Right to Rent was in no way successful.
The Independent published an article showing that despite the trial being proven ineffective it has still been approved.
The Guardian published a post quoting Stephen Hale of Refugee Action saying:
“Families in the asylum system are already forced to survive on around 50% of the equivalent level of income support, and we know this is pushing vulnerable families into poverty,” Hale said. “It seems ludicrous to assume that any family would choose to live under such constraints unless they were in fear of their lives.
“These plans might be designed to make the government look tough on asylum, but they will not dissuade anyone from seeking the safety from persecution they so desperately need – and they will leave refugee families in poverty.”
Even the Daily Mail do not hail the pilot a success.
We urge all of our landlords to have their say on the proposed changes here using the official consultation document
The consultation closes on 27 August 2015.