Do Discriminate Against Illegals. But otherwise of course, Don’t Discriminate.
The Immigration Act of 2014 Link here includes provisions which come in force throughout England on 1st February relating to the so called “Right To Rent”.
The idea as I understand it is that because everybody needs somewhere to live, and given that illegal immigrants in the main are unlikely to be able to afford to purchase a home outright, the Government therefore thinks it likely that such persons will seek rental accommodation.
So therefore the providers of rental accommodation – and if you are a private landlord then this means you – must effectively act as policemen.
Accordingly it will be a criminal offence from 1st February 2016 to provide permanent rental accommodation to any person who does not have a Right To Rent. The penalty at first will be “not to exceed £3,000”
There is a link here to the actual Act of Parliament – see section 22 onwards.
At the end of this note I provide further links to Government guidance and to a Government site intended to work as an online Right To Rent checker.
This is all fairly straightforward and in truth the checking process does not appear to be particularly onerous. Although, do bear in mind that it is not only the person asking to be named in the lease who must be checked. Every adult who will “occupy” the house or flat must have a Right To Rent.
However there is one trap which landlords must be careful to avoid – that of race discrimination.
The Act and guidance notes contain definitions of those persons who do not have Right To Rent. Clearly those people are mainly going to be members of the group commonly called “Foreigners” – although of course many “Foreigners” will have a Right To Rent.
And discrimination on grounds of Nationality or of Race, is illegal.
If any landlord were to take the view that only applicants for rentals who “look a bit foreign” should be made the subject of Right To Rent checks this would seem to be blatant race discrimination and therefore illegal.
For this reason it seems to me that every landlord will now have to carry out a Right To Rent check against every applicant in every case, in order to ensure that no charge of discrimination can be successfully made. And keep records, if I were you.
Please do contact us whether you are a tenant or a landlord and would like to discuss further, and Please do contact me whenever you need Notarial certification or Legalisation – at http://www.atkinsonnotary.com or phone me on 0113 816 0116 (internationally 0044 113 8160116)
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