The Immigration Bill is now the Immigration Act 2014 which received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014.
Although the wording has been slightly modified from the Bill stage, the essence is the same. We are still waiting on all the important parts of the legislation which is the secondary legislation and most importantly the statutory guidance which will provide the detail of what procedures a landlord must follow to avoid penalties under the Act.
For full details of the Act see our article when it was at Bill stage but a summary is detailed below.
- A landlord must not let to a person who is disqualified from renting
- A person is disqualified if they do not have leave to enter or remain in the UK (or their leave is subject to conditions that they may not rent).
- If a landlord allows such a person to occupy, they will be liable to a penalty of up to £3,000.
- Agents are only responsible if (and only if) they have made arrangements with the landlord in writing to take on responsibility for checking the status of prospective tenants. Otherwise, the landlord will always be liable (even if they use an agent).
- It is not yet known what procedures must be done by landlords but it’s likely that a landlord will need to check and record the tenants ID such as driving licence or passport for example.
- The requirements will most likely apply to lodgers in a persons own home as well as normal tenancies.
- There will be a right to appeal a penalty notice.
When the secondary legislation and statutory guidance is published we will produce a more in-depth article explaining all the duties of landlords because as yet they are unknown for certain. At the time of writing there doesn’t even appear to be any draft statutory guidance to get a feel of what might be required.
It is unclear when the Act will commence. October this year has been talked about but nothing is certain at this stage and it’s unlikely to be sooner.