The Government wish to make it harder for illegal immigrants to rent accommodation.
The Immigration Act 2014 introduced a requirement for landlords of private rental accommodation to conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK. Landlords who rent to illegal migrants without conducting these checks will be liable for a civil penalty.
On 29 July 2014, the Prime Minister announced that these requirements would come into force in one part of the UK in late autumn of that year.
The requirements may apply more widely from 2015.
The right to rent checks will only apply to new tenancy agreements. Existing tenancy agreements are unaffected and landlords will not be required to carry out retrospective checks. The requirements apply to all adults (aged 18 and over) living at the property. Failure to comply could result in a civil penalty up to a maximum £3000.
The checks may become mandatory for all UK landlords this year (2015).
At that point the Government will publish draft Codes of Practice, guidance and on-line resources, including an aid to help landlords and tenants identify whether they are affected and, if so, how to conduct a check.
The Government will provide help landlords to conduct checks, providing general information, and a case-checking service for more complex cases.
In the meantime, landlords and tenants can have a look at the right to work check on
www.gov.uk/legal-right-to-work-in-the-uk which is similar to resource that the Government will be introducing for landlords.