The Immigration Act 2014 was passed in May this year, making landlords subject to fines if they are found to be renting their properties to illegal immigrants. The fine is £3000 per disqualified individual living in the property.
Arthur spoke with immigration expert James Taylor from Medical Immigration Services LLP to find out how this Act could affect you and to alleviate any worry amongst landlords across the UK.
James Taylor, from Medical Immigration Services, believes that the checks may be daunting for some landlords. He says, “For somebody with no experience of Immigration law, the range of documents that could be presented, and the sometimes very subtle differences between immigration statuses, means that these checks would prove to be extremely complex. For example, there are 6 different types of British citizen and over 100 different immigration categories. Not all “British Citizens” have the same entitlements, and with over 100 different immigration categories, having to navigating these can be extraordinarily complex.”
The Act may put extra pressure on the rental market, as further regulation is something landlords are already ever-frequently facing. They may want extra recompense for having to complete extra work, and may be put off expanding their portfolio due to the increase in regulation.
At a time when we need to encourage landlords to invest further to help restore the balance between supply and demand in the UK property industry, new Acts such as this may leave them unwilling to do so.
However, Arthur’s communication with Medical Immigration Services will potentially alleviate this extra pressure and frustration.
Medical Immigration Services can provide a behind-the-scenes immigration document checking service, where digital copies of documents can be submitted for individual review and verification, or specific queries can be raised.
Furthermore, they are creating a digital checking service, allowing landlords and letting agents to enter the information from the documents provided by the tenant. This will all happen whilst the tenant is present, enabling the landlord to go through a series of checks that will arrive at an outcome there and then.
This will mean a significantly reduced risk of void periods and renewed confidence for landlords who are unsure about making the new checks.
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