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LETTINGS NEWS: Agents and landlords to conduct extra checks on tenants

11/08/15

The government is rolling out ‘Right To Rent’ immigration checks which landlords – or letting agents acting on their behalf – must conduct on new tenants.

Exact details of the checks, and their start date, will come in the autumn.

A pilot scheme in the West Midlands has involved landlords and agents inspecting paperwork, including passports and visas if appropriate, and checking with the Home Office to confirm that a tenant is entitled to stay in the UK.

Under the pilot, agents and landlords failing to conduct checks or allowing illegal migrants to rent faced fines of up to £3,000. The government says when the checks are rolled out nationwide, ‘repeat offender’ agents or landlords could face up to five years in prison.

“This check will need to be handled sensitively and systematically. East of Exe will be including it in the services it offers to landlords” says Ian Garcia, a partner at East of Exe.

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