Government want to ensure tenants in the
Private Rented Sector are not illegal Immigrants
Government ministers want to ensure tenants in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) are not living in the UK illegally and are already working with local authorities to tackle rogue landlords who exploit immigrants by housing them in ‘beds in sheds’.
Many private sector landlords already take the correct measures by tenant referencing all applicants to check the tenants’ identity and credit status, making it difficult for illegal immigrants to rent properties from them.
However, despite numerous calls from UK property industry specialists, not all landlords bother with tenant referencing, and a small minority of rogue landlords knowingly target illegal immigrants who would not be in a position to complain about any sub-standard rental accommodation.
In future private sector landlords will be required to make simple checks on new tenants to make sure that they are entitled to be resident in this country.
The government have promised to ensure that UK nationals will not be adversely affected and hope to avoid the red tape for honest landlords in the private rented sector.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will consult on the proposals, which will be straightforward, quick and inexpensive for law-abiding landlords and tenants to comply with. Action could be targeted at particular high-risk sectors, such as houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s).
Mr Pickles said landlords could play an important role in making it harder for illegal immigrants to live here in the UK, and landlords would receive the necessary support from the UK Borders Agency and other public bodies to make the necessary checks. The new checks would complement the government’s ongoing initiative to tackle ‘beds in sheds’.
Eric Pickles said, “The public don’t like the way that taxpayer-subsidised social housing is allocated, when foreign migrants can benefit over local people and members of the armed forces. This perception of unfairness undermines community cohesion and fuels further unsustainable immigration. Confusion around equality rules and European laws have led some to believe that councils cannot prioritise local people when allocating their taxpayer-funded social homes. This is wrong, and I want to restore a sense of fair play to social housing. It’s time to back those who work hard and do the right thing, and prioritise social housing for those people who deserve it the most. At the same time we are taking action to stop rogue landlords who cash in from housing illegal immigrants. These tough measures will send out a strong signal and help reduce unsustainable immigration.”
Sim Sekhon, spokesman for specialist landlord and lettings industry service provider, Legal 4 Landlords, said “It is vital that UK landlords conduct tenant referencing as standard practice as they need to take all the necessary measures to protect their rental income and avoid housing bad tenants, fraudsters or illegal immigrants. Tenant referencing provides detailed background information on prospective tenants and can save landlords undue stress and financial headaches by highlighting bad tenants before they have been granted a tenancy in private sector rental accommodation.”
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