Immigration

If you have an immigration issue you will need someone who understands the law, the details of the rules and the wider policy implications.  It's also helpful to have someone in your corner who can grapple with complex rules which are sometimes coated with unhelpful political hyperbole.

The Immigration Bill 2013 was introduced into the House of Commons on 10 October 2013.  The bill proposes to disqualify some migrants from renting accommodation and seeks to introduce a requirement for private landlords to check prospective tenants’ immigration status. This was first mooted in May 2013.  Although the proposals are aimed primarily at the private sector they may impact on housing associations that house people who are not on council nomination lists.

If the bill becomes law landlords will need to check if they are covered by the new rules (there are significant exemptions). They will also need to ensure they understand the basis of a prospective tenant’s permission to enter or remain in the UK and take then retain copies of specified documents.

Landlords (and in some circumstances their agents) found to be letting properties to disqualified migrants may face fines of up to £3,000 per occupant.

Immigration is of course a political hot potato so we cannot predict if, when or in what form the Home Secretary’s proposals will come into force.  At the time of writing (Friday 11 October 2013) we are seeing reports that the Liberal Democrats have forced her to concede there'll be a pilot scheme in one area next Autumn with a full role-out being deferred until after the next General Election. It is safe to say we will hear much more about this over the next few weeks.

Contact us

For further information about immigration law, please contact James Humphery on 01722 426915 or email james.humphery@trethowans.com.