Landlord or immigration officer?
With fines running into thousands of pounds for those failing to undertake the necessary checks, industry bodies including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the National Landlords Association (NLA) have voiced their opposition to the scheme, with some suggesting that the government is wrong to ask landlords and agents to operate as an arm of the Border Control service.
The introduction of the scheme has been riddled with problems. It was initially to be introduced nationally in October, but that was then reduced to a pilot project in one – initially undisclosed – region of the country.
Then last month guidance from the Home Office was issued, withdrawn, and re-issued without change in the space of 24 hours.
Now, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) says it welcomes the government’s announcement that Wolverhampton and Birmingham will be the core centres of the test area, with the start of the project on December 1.
Association managing director David Cox says “it’s essential this is robustly tested and any issues corrected before additional responsibilities are placed upon landlords and letting agents across the country.”
Fenn Wright’s letting and property management team will be keeping a close eye on the progress of this pilot and will be adapting their processes to meet any resulting demand to conduct immigration checks on migrant tenants.
As a landlord, if this and other legislative changes are making letting your property too stressful, then get in touch to find out how Fenn Wright’s property management service can take the strain.