Immigration News

£1000 to £3000 civil penalty proposed for Landlords if illegal immigrants are found in their properties

On 3 July 2013, the Home Office published its consultation, ‘Tackling illegal immigration in privately rented accommodation’.

The Government proposes to require private landlords to check the immigration status of new tenants and other adults living in their property. Landlords who do not carry out checks and are found renting residential property to anyone unlawfully in the UK will face civil financial penalties. The new requirements are being modelled on those which presently apply to employers.

The proposals affect you if you are:

Renting out accommodation for people to live in anywhere in the United Kingdom. Potentially, this could include taking in a lodger (or similar) in the home where you are living

A letting agent who provides a service for landlords by finding people to live in rented property or who manages the property for them

A hotel or guest house or provider of similar accommodation and you take in guests who stay for three months or more

Intending to live in rented accommodation anywhere in the United Kingdom in the future (potentially including as a paying lodger in someone else’s home).

The proposals are that before renting accommodation to anyone to live in as their main or only home, landlords will ask them to produce evidence (from a checklist of documents) of their permission to be in the UK.

Landlords will check this evidence and keep a copy for their records. If a person cannot produce satisfactory evidence, the landlord should not rent accommodation to them. A landlord would be liable to pay a civil penalty if the Home Office found he was renting accommodation to an illegal migrant without having made the necessary checks. The penalties will be proportionate for landlords who have inadvertently taken in an illegal migrant for the first time. But those rogue landlords who repeatedly provide accommodation to multiple illegal migrants will pay penalties amounting to thousands of pounds.

The Proposals include certain exemptions for various types of properties from the scheme, either because checks will already have been made on the people living in it or because the nature of the accommodation makes such checks inappropriate. These include:

Social housing rented to tenants nominated by the local authority

Privately rented homes let to people under the homelessness legislation

Accommodation provided to employees

Tourist accommodation such as hotels and guest houses where the person is staying less than three months

Properties let under short term business or holiday lets (less than three months)

Properties rented for commercial use (shops, offices, etc)

Hostels and refuges providing crisis accommodation to homeless and other vulnerable people

Hospital accommodation of patients, hospices, care homes etc

University / college halls of residence, boarding schools and children’s homes.

If you are in the UK illegally then contact us today and we may be able to help you regularize your stay.

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