Tough Penalities for Failure to Evict Illegal Immigrants
August 4, 2015 |
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Under government plans, landlords and letting agents who do not carry out “right to rent” checks on a tenant before renting their property face up to five years in prison, or a hefty fine, if the tenant turns out to be in the country illegally.
The new measures are part of the upcoming Immigration Bill, which is designed to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the UK. Communities secretary Greg Clarke said that the government was determined to “crack down on rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration – exploiting vulnerable people and undermining our immigration system.”
Although a pilot scheme has been running in the West Midlands for almost a year, there are no figures available to show how many immigrants have been deported as a result.
The Residential Landlords Association has been critical of the pilot, saying there was evidence of “document discrimination” with some landlords who were understandably wary of renting to people who couldn’t produce a valid passport.
The National Landlords Association has expressed surprise at the severity of the penalties announced in the bill, believing it is a reaction to current crises in Calais.