The Home Office has decided upon the location for the pilot scheme the changes introduced by the Immigration Act 2014.
With effect from 1 December 2014, this scheme will be piloted in the West Midlands area, comprising Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton. Assuming the pilot is successful, this will lead to a phased introduction of the rules across the United Kingdom in 2015. The pilot scheme is to be evaluated in Spring 2015, which will not allow much time for landlords to familiarise themselves with their new obligations.
To assist landlords, the Home Office has published an on-line “right to rent” tool which landlords can use to establish if the property to be rented is affected, and also guidance on how to carry out “rent checks” and the circumstances where it may be appropriate to request an official “right to rent check” from the Home Office. There is a helpline telephone number together with a draft code of practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation.
Under the rules a person is disqualified from occupying a property under a residential tenancy if they do not have a right to rent. A “relevant national” and people with indefinite leave to remain or the right of abode in the UK have an unlimited right to rent. A relevant national is a British citizen; a national of an EEA state; or a national of Switzerland. Any person who does not fall within the above categories is not a “relevant national”.
Non-relevant nationals will usually have a time-limited right to rent if they have limited leave to remain in the UK, or if they have an EU Treaty right to enter or remain.
A person does not have a right to rent if they require leave to enter or remain in the UK and do not have it, or they have leave, but it is subject to conditions that prevent them from occupying residential property. Landlords will also be obliged to ensure that the tenant’s rights to occupy the property does not lapse.
We have a market-leading Immigration team with many years’ experience dealing with the Home Office, who can advise you on the complex immigration rules and how these will affect you or your clients. We also have an expert Property Dispute Resolution team to deal with the landlord and tenant and tenancy issues.
Posted on 16/10/2014 in Legal UpdatesBack to Knowledge