TOLWORTH, England, November 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
After working in the property insurance industry for over 45 years PropertQuoteDirect has gained a considerable amount of knowledge on the private rental sector and has recently discussed the new right to rent legislation for landlords. Under the government's new legislation, landlords are required to check and prove their prospective tenants' immigration status if over 18.
The scheme will start in the West Midlands and will potentially be implemented nationally if proved beneficial. Any landlord who doesn't carry out the checks under the right to rent scheme could face a severe civil penalty of up to £3,000.
The law is said to be fair on British citizens and all legitimate migrants but will crack down on anyone who is abusing the system. The checks won't take landlords long and will cut down on any illegal immigrants who shouldn't be in the country as well as landlords that take advantage of illegal immigrants and allow them to stay in properties which could be overcrowded or unsafe.
The first phase of the scheme will start in the local authorities of Birmingham, Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Sandwell. Even if a landlord doesn't live in these areas the regulations will still apply to them if they own properties there. However, there will be no need to check existing tenants because the requirements will only be enforced from the date of implementation. Furthermore, anyone under the age of 18 will not require checks and over 18s will only need to be checked if the property is their main or only residence.
In order to carry out the checks landlords or letting agents will need to gather their prospective tenants' original documents such as passports (showing they have a right to rent in the UK) and take photocopies of said documents. British or EEA national full birth certificates and driving licences can also be used as proof. Landlords will also need to retain the photocopied documentation for a year after the end of the tenancy, however many landlords already do this as a matter of routine. Migrants who are in the country lawfully can use biometric residence permits as proof which will take no longer to check than any other documents.
In the event that your tenant has sent their documentation to the Home Office to make an application or appeal you will need to request a right to rent check on the Home Office website. After requesting this, the Home Office will normally reply with a yes or no answer within 48 hours.
The Immigration Act 2014 has been put in place in order to ensure that the immigration system is working on behalf of the national interest. The Act will prevent illegal immigrants from using public services that they do not have the right to, which in turn makes it easier for the Home Office to remove people who are not legally in the country.
Mark Hare, owner of the Bedford Insurance Group which includes MotorQuoteDirect, VanQuoteDirect and PropertyQuoteDirect amongst others, said: "These checks will really crack down on illegal migrants and untrustworthy landlords, however many landlords already perform such checks already. This scheme isn't a massive amount of work for landlords but it could potentially make a huge difference when it comes to cracking down on rogue landlords."
PropertyQuoteDirect provides comprehensive landlord insurance to landlords across the UK. Based in Wimbledon, PropertyQuoteDirect provides insurance policies that are unique to each customer's needs.
SOURCE Bedford Insurance