Renting private residential accommodation in England comes with a responsibility to ensure that only those with legal immigration status are allowed access. The Ministry of the Interior has criminalized four new offences that can result in fines, prison sentences, or both for landlords who fail to comply. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, landlords who persistently or fail to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from a property can receive a fine, a prison sentence, and other penalties. The Ministry of the Interior has also established new provisions that increase fines for landlords who rent to tenants without the right status.
For first-time offences, fines can range from £80 per tenant and £1,000 per occupant up to £5,000 per tenant and £10,000 per occupant. Repeat offences can result in fines of up to £10,000 per tenant and £20,000 per occupant. Landlords must check the documents of each adult who will occupy the property and carry out follow-up checks in some circumstances. British and Irish citizens automatically have the right to rent, while others depend on whether they have permission or permission to be in the UK. A person without permission to stay in the UK has no right to rent. The landlord can only evict a tenant without a court order if no person living in their home has the right to rent.
An eviction notice must be received at least four weeks in advance. People who arrived in the UK after 1 January 1973 but before 1988 may not automatically have the right to rent and must use the Ministry of Internal Affairs' online service to prove their eligibility. Any occupant who subleases all or part of their accommodation to a person in exchange for paying rent will be an owner for the purposes of the Plan. The landlord will have a legal excuse if they have correctly carried out prescribed checks on the right to rent before entering into a lease agreement with the tenant or tenants. If a potential occupant has a limited-time rental right, checks must be carried out no earlier than 28 days before the start of the lease. An employer or landlord can also face criminal liability if they knowingly employ or rent someone who does not have the correct permit to work or rent in the UK.
The Secretary of State can grant a person a permit to rent, even if their immigration status means that they would not otherwise have the right to rent. Every landlord in England has a responsibility to prevent those without legal immigration status from accessing the private rental sector. If the Ministry of Interior's online verification of the right to rent does not confirm that a person has the right to rent, then landlords will have no legal excuse if they sign a lease with them. It is essential for landlords in England to understand their responsibilities when it comes to renting out private residential accommodation. Failing to comply with regulations can result in hefty fines, prison sentences, and other penalties. Landlords must check documents and carry out follow-up checks when necessary and use the Ministry of Internal Affairs' online service for verification when needed.
It is also important for landlords to be aware that they may face criminal liability if they knowingly employ or rent someone who does not have the correct permit.