Press release

New measures to crackdown on illegal immigrants renting properties

New measures to crackdown on rogue landlords and make Britain an even harder place for illegal migrants to operate will be announced today.

  • quicker eviction of illegal immigrants
  • blacklisting and banning of rogue landlords
  • Greg Clark: “We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords”

Measures to be included in forthcoming legislation will ensure anyone without the right to live in this country will find it more difficult to rent a home.

Measures will also be introduced to crack down on the unscrupulous landlords who exploit the most vulnerable.

The government has made clear its commitment to reducing illegal immigration, with the Prime Minister chairing a taskforce dedicated to holding every part of Whitehall to account on tackling the issue.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration – exploiting vulnerable people and undermining our immigration system.

In future, landlords will be required to ensure that the people they rent their properties to are legally entitled to be in the country.

We will also require them to meet their basic responsibilities as landlords, cracking down on those who rent out dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties.

Quicker eviction of illegal immigrants

Legislation introduced in 2014 made it harder for people to live in the UK illegally – with nearly 36,000 immigration offenders removed from the UK last year.

Measures in the forthcoming Immigration Bill will go further, and will enable landlords to evict illegal immigrant tenants more easily, by giving them the means to end a tenancy when a person’s leave to remain in the UK ends - in some circumstances without a court order.

This will be triggered by a notice issued by the Home Office confirming that the tenant no longer has the right to rent in the UK. The landlord would then be expected to take action to ensure that the illegal immigrant tenant or occupant leaves the property.

And under plans to extend across the country a successful pilot scheme started in the West Midlands, landlords will be also required to conduct “Right to Rent” checks on their tenants’ immigration status before offering a tenancy agreement.

Blacklisting and banning rogue landlords

Alongside creating a bigger and better private rented sector there will be a crackdown on those unscrupulous landlords who exploit migrants.

There will be a new criminal offence targeted at unscrupulous landlords and agents who repeatedly fail to conduct the “right to rent” checks or fail to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from their property. These landlords may face a fine, up to 5 years imprisonment and further sanctions under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Forthcoming legislation will create a blacklist of persistent rogue landlords and letting agents, helping councils to focus their enforcement action on where it is most needed, and keeping track of those who have been convicted of housing offences.

And new measures will prevent a landlord or letting agent from renting out of properties if they are repeat offenders.

Other measures include:

  • a new tougher fit and proper person test for landlords of properties that have to be licenced, to ensure they do not pose a risk to the welfare or safety of tenants
  • extending Rent Repayment Orders so local authorities can claim back rent payments from landlords who abuse the Housing Benefit system by failing to ensure the property is maintained to a good standard
  • enabling local authorities to issue penalty notices for certain civil offences, with the money retained by the council and used for housing purposes
  • permitting the sharing of Tenancy Deposit Protection data to help councils crack down on rogue landlords who knowingly rent out unsafe and overcrowded accommodation
  • enabling landlords to recover abandoned properties more quickly without the need to go to court.

Further information

The measures proposed would apply to England only.

A technical discussion paper, Tackling rogue landlords and improving the private rental sector, was published today. It seeks views on our proposals to tackle rogue landlords and letting agents as well as abandonment in the sector where a tenant disappears.

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