Immigration Checks on Private Tenants
From 1st December, private landlords in the West Midlands who let their property to undocumented migrants will faced civil penalties of up to £3000 per tenant. This also applies to anyone taking in a lodger, although the civil penalty is less, at up to £80 per lodger.
This is a pilot of a national scheme that could be rolled out as part of the Immigration Act 2014. Landlords can avoid this penalty by conducting an immigration check on each person living in the property who is over 18, even if they are not on the tenancy agreement. The immigration check is to ascertain whether a person has a ‘right to rent’ in the UK.
This policy could have a harmful effect on people with a non-British ethnic background, migrants who are in the UK legally, international students and the wider private renter population.
Jeremy Corbyn MP has put down this Early Day Motion:
That this House notes:
- the introduction on 1 December 2014 of the pilot scheme of the requirement for private sector landlords to conduct immigration checks on their tenants;
- believes that this will lead to new fees from letting agents to all of Britain's nine million private tenants on moving to conduct these checks;
- considers that almost no undocumented migrants will be caught, as they will move into illegal tenancies, and in so doing will create a new market for illegal and exploitative landlords;
- further notes that this requirement will encourage discrimination in the lettings process;
- and further believes that it is morally objectionable to remove from any person access to shelter, just as it would be to remove access to water or to emergency medical care.
The more MPs who sign this motion, the more pressure we can put on the Home Office to think again. Please take two minutes to email your MP requesting that they sign it.