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Landlords must prepare for ‘right to rent’ rules

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Government plans which force landlords to check the immigration status of tenants could be rolled out later this year.

The government has long planned for landlords to take on additional responsibilities and has piloted the scheme in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

Landlords in these areas of the West Midlands must undertake checks on the immigration status of their tenants – known as the ‘right to rent’.

This trial has been running since December 2014 and landlords can face a fine of £3,000 per tenant.

Immigration law firm Paragon Law has warned landlords that the trial could be rolled out across the country later this year.

“The pilot has been running from the 1st December 2014 and landlords in the above areas have been getting to grips with the new system of rules, or delegating the responsibility for carrying out checks to agents to carry out checks on their behalf,” the firm said.

“The government have not yet confirmed when the new rules will be rolled out nationwide. However, contrary to previous indications, the Home Office’s evaluation of the pilot period is being brought forward so that a report can be published earlier, with the indication being that the right to rent rules will be rolled out nationwide from Autumn 2015.

“This would mean that the requirements for landlords to check the immigration status will take effect for all landlords, regardless of where they are in the UK.”

Both landlords and letting agents will need to change their processes to make sure they are able to meet the new requirements.

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