A Pilot Scheme that has been enforced from 1 December 2014 in the West Midlands only, has now come into force in all of England from 1 February 2016.
Under Part 3, Chapter 1 of the Immigration Act 2014, certain classes of foreign nationals are now disallowed to occupy premises under a Residential Tenancy Agreement. Landlords of residential properties now need to carry out careful checks when they are letting out their premises to ensure that the persons who require these premises are not "disqualified classes". The disqualified classes include persons who require but do not have leave to enter or remain in the UK or whose permission to enter or remain is subject to a condition that prevents them from renting property. These provisions extend not only to residential Landlords but to their Agents as well. If Landlords or their Agents are found to be in breach of this particular law, they could be fined up to £3,000.00. The good news is that it is a defence for a Landlord or their Agent to show that they have carried out prescribed checks on potential occupiers.
This legislation adds yet another burden for Landlords of residential property and their Agents when setting up residential Tenancy Agreements and Occupation Agreements.
Our advice is to get matters right from the start. Seek legal advice as soon as a prospective Tenant shows an interest in your property and Garratts Solicitors will be happy to discuss with you in detail the necessary prescribed checks for this particular point and others as well, including the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which has its own sets of requirements which Residential Landlords need to abide by to avoid falling foul of them all.
Letting properties continues to be a lucrative investment however to avoid causing potential problems for the future, speak to one of our advisors at Garratts today on 0161 665 3502 or fill in the Online Enquiry form. We will be happy to discuss your options with you.