Immigration checks for new tenants to be scaled back

September 27th, 2013 - No Comments

“Plans to fine landlords up to £3,000 if they fail to check their tenants’ immigration status are in ‘chaos’ and will have to be dramatically scaled back, according to Government sources.”

 - Reprieve for buy-to-let landlords over migrant check fine: Ministers warn proposal risks criminalising hundreds of thousands who rent out second homes 

Under the original proposals, first-time offenders would be fined £1,000 per illegal immigrant in their property. And Landlords who had failed to make proper checks within the last three years would be sent an advisory letter and fined £3,000 per tenant. It seems that inside sources are claiming that the legislation will be watered down and reined in.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers are warning that the proposal risks criminalising many small landlords, and that they should not be treated as an extension of the Border Agency.

We couldn’t agree more, it’s unfair for the Government to try and palm immigration checks onto other members of society who aren’t qualified to do so. If this is such a political hot potato, the checking of immigration status should be left to the Government, it’s Border Agencies, and any other governmental agencies they work with – and not in the hands of Landlords.

Instead of passing laws that will be difficult to enforce (given the current performance of the Border Agency) why can’t they invest this money into strengthening our Border Control – employing more staff to perform more thorough immigration checks. If they are truly concerned about the number of illegal immigrants living in rented accommodation, they should be tackling the problem at the border.

At Helpland we believe that Landlords and Letting Agents have enough legislation to follow, without being forced to help the Government perform immigration checks.