So far at Yellow Oak Inventories we’ve covered the obvious topics relating to the importance of a comprehensive, independent inventory – e.g. accepting pets, hoarding, student lets, tenancy deposit disputes, longer tenancies and redecoration to name a few.
But are you aware of one of the newest pieces of legislation to hit private renting landlords; Right to Rent Immigration Checks,and how a full inventory can become a key part of the Right to Reside Compliance process?
Well firstly, let’s explain the Right to Rent Immigration Checks legislation.
In addition to the referencing process, all landlords will soon be required by law to check the immigration status of their tenants or risk financial penalties for failing to do so. Launched on 1 December 2014 in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton it’s currently being trialled across the West Midlands but is soon to be rolled out right across the UK later on this year.
Including letting agents and homeowners who let rooms, Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said:
“We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law.
The right to rent checks will be quick and simple, but will make it more difficult for immigration offenders to stay in the country when they have no right to be here.
They will also act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out overcrowded and unsafe accommodation.”
Therefore it is imperative that you seek evidence from your prospective tenant now, of proof of their identity and citizenship, before a tenancy can go ahead. However, in a limited amount of cases where tenants cannot provide their documents due to an ongoing Home Office application, landlords can request a check directly from the Home Office. This can take up to two working days but should not be missed, as you need to be absolutely sure that your potential tenant has the right to be in the country, in accordance with UK law.
A detailed inventory report can also play a vital role in your new Right to Rent Check procedure, via the following steps:
- Keep an accurate record of the tenancy; from start, middle to finish.
- Regular mid-term inspections will provide peace of mind that there are no illegal residents living in your property and putting you at risk of hefty fines.
- Attach a photo of your tenant to the inventory report.
- Attach your tenants’ passport copy to their inventory report.
As we say at Yellow Oak Inventories, Evidence is Everything, especially alongside this approaching legislation; just waiting for an ignorant landlord to slip up.
So please make sure that all of your checks are up to date and that as much as possible has been fully documented, or expect to face dire consequences!
What are your personal views on these latest changes for UK landlords?