The controversial Right to Rent checks on all adult tenants for new agreements will not become compulsory until February 1, however, the government has notified landlords and agents that they may begin checks from January 4. Under the regulations, valid checks can be conducted up to 28 days in before the start of a tenancy agreement.
The immigration minister James Brokenshire said that the scheme was designed to be “as simple and light touch” as possible. An “expert panel” of trade bodies, local authorities, charities was consulted ahead of the scheme’s roll out.
Research by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) revealed that there were 2.6 million moves within the private rented sector in 2013/14, which provides a rough estimate of how many immigration checks landlords will have to carry out per year.
An immigrant rights charity found that 42% of landlords are unlikely to rent to people without British passports, and that, due to the severe penalties, a quarter of landlords would be hesitant to rent to tenants will foreign names or accents.
The CIH has called for the government to postpone the national launch of Right to Rent, saying that it should be trialled in London first.