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Criminal Offence for ignoring Right to Rent scheme

Tue 22 Nov 2016

1st of December 2016 sees the introduction of measures to make it a criminal offence for failing to carry out Right-to-Rent checks properly.

The government announced last week that it will trigger the new measures under the Immigration act 2016. These measures will include a cracking down on rogue landlords who rent to migrants that have no right to be in the UK.

In a Government press release Mr James Brokenshire, immigration minister had said:

“We are clear that illegal immigrants should not be able to access or remain in private rented accommodation, preventing lawful residents from finding a home.

“We know the vast majority of landlords are diligent in their responsibilities when it comes to their tenants and we want to help them to be able to evict illegal immigrants more easily”.

The Right to Rent scheme was originally introduced in 2014 as a pilot in the West Midlands, and on 1st of February 2016 was rolled out across England, with plans next year to expand this right across all of the UK.

Initially under the scheme landlords, agents as well as homeowners with lodgers, were liable for a civil penalty up to £3,000 per illegal migrant tenant. This, following the 1stof December, will be strengthened to include a criminal offence with the aim of deterring the small...


minority of rogues who continuously defy the law.

Four new criminal offences are created with this latest piece of legislation with penalties including a fine and up to five years in prison, with further offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act – namely rent repayments.

Landlords will also be given extra powers to evict their illegal tenants quickly and report them to the Home office.

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