Prison sentences for non-compliance with Right to Rent?

Prison sentences proposed for non-compliance with Right to Rent legislation

With the Immigration Act 2016 currently progressing through Parliament, proposals are in place to increase the penalties on landlords who fail to properly carry out Right to Rent checks.

With the Immigration Act 2016 currently progressing through Parliament, proposals are in place to increase the penalties on landlords who fail to properly carry out Right to Rent checks.

The Act - which has just undergone its second reading at the House of Lords, and is due to go to the Committee stage on Monday - calls for heavier penalties for landlords who fail to comply with the new legislation, and proposes imprisonment of up to five years and an increased fine.

The new act also features a section which would allow landlords to evict tenants on the basis of immigration status, which raises concerns that it may cause discrimination amongst the private lettings industry.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) carried out a study on the results of the pilot scheme in the Midlands, and founds that 42% of landlords surveyed would be unlikely to rent to someone without a British passport, and 25% of landlords would be less likely to rent to someone with a foreign name or accent.

Despite guidelines issued by the Home Office on what documents to check, our Landlord Knowledge Survey found that 50% of landlords were unsure about Right to Rent, and many were unaware of how to safely proceed with the checks. With a hefty prison sentence potentially at stake in the future, and a £3,000 fine a concern as from tomorrow (February 1st), this is not a legislation anyone can afford to avoid.

If you are concerned about how this affects you, give the team at Urban.co.uk a call on 0800 689 9955, or email us on righttorent@urban.co.uk.

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