Concerns raised on right to rent laws
Mark Lilley-Tams, associate solicitor at Paragon Law, said given the large number of different documents which can prove a person’s permission to be in the UK, he feared landlords and letting agents lacked the expertise to carry out the checks properly.
He said: “There are also concerns that landlords or letting agents will become subject to discrimination claims if they wrongly refuse to rent a property to tenants on immigration grounds.”
Since December last year, the government has been piloting new rules for landlords in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton, making it compulsory for them to check the immigration status of their tenants.
If they do not carry out checks, they can be fined up to £3,000 per tenant that is renting a property if they do not have a right to rent.
Lilley-Tams added: “If the roll out does go ahead as planned, landlords and letting agents across the country will need to put in place procedures to ensure that they do not get caught out by the new requirements.”