New online services launches to help UK landlords with immigration checks

Taylor Scott International News

A new service for UK landlords has been launched to help them cope with the new legislation that means they must check the immigration status of potential tenants before agreeing a rental. The first groups of landlords will be required to undertake the checks from December 2014 under a pilot scheme in the West Midlands with the requirement being rolled out across the rest of the country in 2015. The new online Ready Rentals system has been created to help landlords who will have to ask those applying to live in one of their properties for proof of their right to reside in the UK such as a passport, right of abode certificate, or alternative documents that confirm their immigration status. Under the Immigration Act a landlord failing to comply could receive a fine of up to £3,000 and the new rules have already stirred up much feeling amongst the private rented sector, making it a controversial topic, with some questioning whether it is the landlord’s place to act as ‘immigration officer’ in this way. Others fear the additional weight of responsibility on private landlords might negatively affect the industry, putting people off renting out their properties as they struggle to cope with the changing legislative demands. ‘The immigration issue is a hot topic at the moment, with the government and opposition openly debating their approach to the nation’s growing problem, but I don’t see this new legislation merely having been presented as a vote-winner. Checking a tenant’s immigration status is not only beneficial to the country as a whole, it also helps the landlord to feel more assured that they will receive their rent successfully,’ said Neil Woodhead, founder of Ready Rentals. ‘For some it can feel as though the legislation that private landlords have to follow is constantly changing, and this can be daunting for many. Yet it is important that private landlords face this, and other legal demands placed upon them, in a thorough manner. The result is legal compliance and a professional service for tenants, a win-win for all,’ he added. Just one of the issues that Ready Rentals will address, the new immigration laws will be fully supported by the service, providing landlords in the West Midlands and further afield when it is rolled out, with access to all the advice and referencing systems needed to ensure that they meet the new demands of the immigration legislation. Woodhead explained that the online system will be available for an affordable annual fee and aims to make the life of a private landlord easy and the service they offer legally compliant and seamless, addressing concerns and providing invaluable answers to problems faced by individual landlords. This is achieved by providing access to all the documentation needed to become a private landlord, a tailored system to suit individual needs; continually updating advice on statutory regulations and letting a property; providing the ability to market online to major portals; giving information on general marketing and advertising;… Continue reading →

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