All landlords and their agents have a legal responsibility under the Immigration Act 2014 legislation to prevent those without lawful immigration status from accessing the private rented sector
Landlords and agents who knowingly rent their properties to unauthorised migrants will currently face penalties of up to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for a first breach, up from £80 and £1,000 respectively. Repeat breaches could cost them up to £10,000 per lodger, up from £500, and a maximum of £20,000 per occupier, up from £3,000. But that is all about to change.
As of 13 February the penalties for violating Right to Rent rules will increase significantly from £80 per lodger and £1,000 per occupier for a first breach to a substantial £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier. Repeat breaches will incur even steeper fines, reaching up to £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupier, a substantial increase from the previous £500 and £3,000 respectively.
Agents and landlords are advised to familiarize themselves with the new draft code of practice, currently available in draft form and scheduled to take effect next month. This updated version outlines the heightened penalties for failing to comply with Right to Rent requirements, underscoring the government’s commitment to enforcing these regulations.
Landlords and agents are reminded that, in addition to the hefty fines, failure to check the occupier’s right to rent status may result in potential imprisonment. With the looming changes, it is imperative for landlords to stay informed and ensure full compliance with the revised regulations to avoid severe financial consequences and legal ramifications.
The code of practice for Right to Rent, issued by the Home Office, can be accessed here.