We welcome this legislation; it should help to improve rented property stock by outlawing landlords and their agents who rent to illegal immigrants and will now force them to compete for tenants.
Whilst there will always be rogue landlords and agents, this law makes it more difficult. We would like to see compulsory licensing of agents as a further step towards cleaning up the industry.
New parts of the Immigration Act 2016 come into effect today, consolidating Right To Rent regulations. From today agents acting on behalf of landlords, or landlords themselves if they manage tenancies, will be committing a criminal offence if they have "reasonable cause to believe" that the apartment or house they are letting is being rented by a tenant disqualified under Right To Rent regulations. If a landlord or managing agent serves a Section 8 notice which does not specifically refer to the Immigration Act 2016, it is regarded as invalid and tenants will have a technical defence to possession proceedings. It is now also an offence for agents who have "reasonable cause to believe" that their landlord client is letting to a tenant disqualified because of their immigration status, and who go ahead with the management of the property.