Becoming a landlord is not an easy task. You want to invest in property that will make you money but are also faced with the headaches of managing your property, finding trustworthy tenants and collecting rent on time. To add to the headache the UK has introduced a new legislation that makes it necessary for landlords to check evidence to ensure tenants have the right to rent property based on their citizenship. Failure to do so could result in a civil penalty of up to £3,000.
Areas currently affected but the new legislation includes Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton. As a landlord you will have to check that all tenants applying to live in your rental units have a right to be living in the UK. Come 2015 the rules will apply across the UK. The government is trying to make it harder for the establishment of illegal immigrants throughout the UK but in turn are also making it harder for landlords to find tenants without a lot of paper work involved.
No doubt there is an ongoing issue with illegal immigrants but is it really fair to expect landlords to be the ones policing the immigrants? The process will make it harder to find tenants, which is already hard enough just from the stand point of finding tenants who are trustworthy enough not to cause damages as well as to pay their rent on time. Some tenants might even cause issue accusing landlords of discrimination even though they are simply following the rules.
There will be a number of ways landlords can check electronically for the status of immigrants making it a little easier. Needless to say it will still be a difficult additional step to make certain landlords are following the rules and not putting themselves at risk of facing the penalties.
Paper-based documentation checks take time which can also be of concern to landlords who might see properties lying empty longer which in turn can cost them money. Due diligence will be expected by landlords and a paper trail might make it easier for them to prove they have in fact gone through the right steps to ensure their tenants aren’t breaking any laws. Continue reading