Since last December, the government has expected every landlord and lettings agent in the UK to check the immigration status of tenants when they move in.
It follows a trial period in the West Midlands that started in 2014. Landlords in the area were asked to check the nationality and visa status of their tenants or face a hefty fine in the thousands. One landlord recieved a penalty of £2,000. Fines are issued per tenant who is living in a property who has no right to rent.
Critics of the scheme have complained that the government is expecting landlords to carry out immigration checks on its behalf. Meanwhile, some have expressed concern over the possibility of law suits from tenants who may be discriminated against.
Under the new laws, British, EEA or Swiss nationals, have a right to rent. But most non-EU citizens will need to show they have a visa. To avoid penalties, landlords need to ask for original documents.
More information can be found in the Landlords Code of Practice
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