Services to Landlords & Tenants
Under the Immigration Act 2014, those who require permission to remain in the United Kingdom, lose the right to rent a property, where they lose the right to stay. Permission to remain is either given by the Secretary of State in accordance with the Rules or at discretion, and it can be automatically extended by statute. Permission to remain is automatically extended by statute where there has been a valid within time application for further permission to remain , or pending an appeal.
The House of Commons briefing paper of the 2nd December 2020 ( Number CBP06077), describes the number of people living in the UK as having a different nationality as 6.2 million of whom 3.7 million were EU nationals. These 3.7 million EU nationals now fall into the category of tenant whose Immigration status will have to be monitored to avoid the imposition of fines.
Where the 2014 Immigration Act disqualifies a person from renting the Landlord or acting Estate Agent may incur penalties of between £80 to £3000 per illegal occupier, and will be liable to prosecution for an offence with carries a maximum term of five years imprisonment.
Guidance produced by the UKVI sets out the document checks required to verify an occupier’s right to remain and to establish a defence against a fine or prosecution.
In essence the Landlord or Estate Agent must identify a person’s Immigration Status according to an approved check list of documents and maintain regular reviews of the same.
Where it is not possible to ascertain a person’s Immigration Status, ( because , for example an appeal is pending ), The Landlord or Estate Agent is required to contact the Home Office to ask for verification through the Landlords Checking Service.
A person is not disqualified simply because the Landlords Checking Service does not confirm their status. ( Any delay in responding to the enquiry is covered by an automatic acknowledgement.)
Employers with experience of the Employers Checking Service know that information given can be wrong. For example it can take more than eight weeks for an appeal to be recorded as lodged before the Immigration Tribunal leading to a likely delay in the updating of the Landlord’s Checking Service records.
So the mechanism whereby a Landlord , or Letting agent identifies that a person still has permission to remain as extended by Statute is the Landlords Checking Service. But that is all it is , it is a mechanism. It does not define whether a person has leave to enter or remain.
If the person has permission to remain , then any attempt to deny them a Tenancy is unlawful, irrespective of whether the Landlord or Estate Agent has complied with the terms of the UKVI’s guidance.
We can offer advice and representation to both Landlords and Tenants on:
- Establishing a person’s Immigration Status
- Undertaking the proscribed right to rent checks
- Contesting Civil Penalty Notices.