Posts with tag: right to rent pilot

Right to Rent Pilot Described as a Fiasco

A leading property lawyer has described the right to rent pilot scheme as a “fiasco” and said it was “even worse than I expected.”

Giles Peaker responded to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) report on the pilot scheme that has been trialled in the West Midlands since December 2014.

Right to Rent Pilot Described as a Fiasco

Right to Rent Pilot Described as a Fiasco

Peaker, a partner at law firm Anthony Gold, said the policy “is going to have to take some quite astonishing justification in any Home Office evaluation to take forward nationally. It is, on a purely practical basis, a fiasco.”1

He voiced his opinions on the Almost Legal website.

The Home Office has not yet released its own evaluation of the pilot, but has stated that the scheme will be rolled out nationally, with legislation likely to be announced shortly, and enacted and implemented quickly.

It will require all landlords or their letting agents to conduct immigration checks on prospective tenants and to carry out further checks on tenants whose immigration status may subsequently change.

Landlords and agents that do not undertake checks face criminal sanctions, including up to five years in prison. In the trial, landlords have been able to fully delegate the responsibility to their agents.

The JCWI report revealed that 69% of landlords do not believe they should have to conduct checks and 77% are not in favour of a national roll out.

The Chartered Institute of Housing has also given its view.

It said that the pilot scheme was not a success and that the JCWI’s report had highlighted “clear dangers that it won’t do what the Government wants – deter ‘illegal’ immigrants – but it may well do something no one wants; make it harder for people with every right to be in the UK to find a decent home.”1

 

 

 

The JCWI report can be found here: http://www.jcwi.org.uk/sites/default/files/documets/No%20Passport%20Equals%20No%20Home%20Right%20to%20Rent%20Independent%20Evaluation_0.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sendpress&utm_campaign

1 http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/right-to-rent-pilot-branded-a-fiasco-by-top-housing-lawyer/

Firm Launches App that Checks Immigration Status in 2 Seconds

A lettings industry supplier is launching an app that checks the immigration status of tenants in just two seconds.

The app will be available on smartphones and tablets, and uses optical recognition software as it scans documentation.

The managing director of UKtenantdata, Tony Williams, says that the system will make checking immigration statuses as easy as sending a text.

Firm Launches App that Checks Immigration Status in 2 Seconds

Firm Launches App that Checks Immigration Status in 2 Seconds

The service will be free to agents that already use UKtenantdata’s tenant screening plan and as a stand-alone option for other agents.

The date of the nationwide roll out of the right to rent scheme is yet to be confirmed, as well as other details.

However, Williams states: “It is a fact. Letting agents and landlords are now unpaid immigration officers.

“We thought: If you have to do the job, we may as well make it an easy one.”

The app will be launched ahead of the national roll out and can read worldwide passports, EU ID cards, UK visas and UK drivers’ licenses, extracting the relevant information.

The data is then passed onto servers for validation and is then placed in the prospective tenant’s reference file.

The software will highlight any visas that are about to expire, allowing the agent time to update the system with new documents. If a hopeful tenant does not provide the new documentation, the app gives an option to report to border control.

If the agent is subject to an audit, the app confirms that checks have been made.

UKtenantdata has made a £250,000 investment in the optical recognition software.

Williams says that the app will initially be available on iOS, but will be developed for Android users and other platforms later this year.

He continues: “Current beta testing for the new system has exceeded our expectations and we believe letting specialists will be astounded at what it can do for their business.

“Back in 1998, the overseas landlord scheme came into play; no one really paid that much attention until the audit letters started to come in from HMRC. The result – fines all round!

“Non-compliance of Immigration Act 2014 won’t be any different and will, if ignored, potentially put agencies out of business, or worse, the principals in prison.”1 

Visit the firm’s website here: https://www.uktenantdata.com

1 http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/software-firm-introduces-new-app-that-will-check-migrant-status-in-two-seconds/

Law Firm Believes that Right to Rent Checks Could be Rolled Out This Autumn

Published On: July 16, 2015 at 3:45 pm

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A law firm has claimed that right to rent checks could be rolled out nationally from this autumn.

Right to rent requires a landlord or their letting agent to conduct immigration status checks on all prospective tenants.

Law Firm Believes that Right to Rent Checks Could be Rolled Out This Autumn

Law Firm Believes that Right to Rent Checks Could be Rolled Out This Autumn

Paragon Law, which uses Right2Rent as a trading name, states that the Home Office is bringing forward its analysis of the right to rent pilot that has been trialled in the West Midlands since December 2014.

Right2Rent was launched to aid landlords, agents and tenants with the complexities of immigration law.

In a post on its site, the law firm says: “At present, new rules for landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants are currently being piloted in the areas of Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

“Landlords within these areas are currently under a duty to undertake checks of the immigration status of their tenants.

“If they do not carry out checks, they can be fined up to £3,000 per tenant that is renting a property if they do not have a right to rent.”

It continues: “The pilot has been running from 1st December 2014 and landlords in the above areas have been getting to grips with the new system of rules, or delegating the responsibility for carrying out checks to agents to carry out checks on their behalf.

“The Government has not yet confirmed when the new rules will be rolled out nationwide.

“However, contrary to previous indications, the Home Office’s evaluation of the pilot period is being brought forward so that a report can be published earlier, with the indication being that the right to rent rules will be rolled out nationwide from autumn 2015.

“This would mean that the requirements for landlords to check the immigration status will take effect for all landlords, regardless of where they are in the UK.”

It adds: “If the roll out does go ahead as planned, landlords and letting agents across the country will need to put in place procedures to ensure that they do not get caught out by the new requirements.

“Given the large number of different documents that can prove a person’s permission to be in the UK, there are concerns over whether landlords or letting agents will have the expertise to carry out the checks properly.

“There are also concerns that landlords or letting agents will become subject to discrimination claims if they wrongly refuse to rent a property to tenants on immigration grounds.”1

However, Managing Director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), David Cox, says that no decisions have been made regarding a roll out.

1 http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/immigration-checks-could-be-rolled-out-from-this-autumn-claim/

 

Right to Rent Pilot Leads to Only One Fine

Published On: June 29, 2015 at 2:59 pm

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Categories: Landlord News

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The right to rent immigration checks on tenants by letting agents and landlords implemented in the West Midlands since early December has lead to only one fine, revealed a report from the Daily Telegraph.

Right to Rent Pilot Leads to Only One Fine

Right to Rent Pilot Leads to Only One FineDaily Telegraph.

The newspaper says that the penalty was “issued to a landlord, who is appealing the near £2,000 sum, according to sources.”1 

The Telegraph, alongside many in the property industry, expect the right to rent checks to be rolled out nationwide this year, however, the Government is awaiting a full assessment of the pilot.

Last week, property consultancy Daniel Watney LLP said that the checks are “unworkable, ludicrous and disproportionate”.1

An immigration charity, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, also revealed that it is working with other organisations to evaluate the pilot scheme when it ends formally this week.

The pilot has been in operation in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall. Since its introduction, landlords and agents in these parts of the West Midlands have been required to check the immigration status of all new adult tenants, sub-tenants and lodgers entering new tenancies.

Sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014 state that landlords or their agents must check the immigration status of all new adult tenants.

Failure to comply with the rules or provide accommodation to illegal immigrants could result in a fine of £1,000 per tenant and £80 per lodger. These penalties could increase to £3,000 and £500 respectively for repeated offences by landlords and agents.

1 https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2015/6/immigration-check-pilot-project-produces-…-just-one-fine