The Government has announced an intention to introduce legislation to force landlords to evict immigrants from rented properties without the need for a court order, as would be the case at the moment, soon after they are notified by the Home Office that the tenant no longer has the right to live in the UK.
This is an extension to the current pilot scheme which has been tested in the West Midlands, whereby landlords have had to obtain documentary evidence of a person’s right to reside in the UK before granting a tenancy. This will now be extended across the country.
Landlords who fail to check a tenant's immigration status will face a fine or imprisonment for up to 5 years.
There are concerns that this will potentially lead to racial discrimination by landlords who want to avoid these onerous obligations. It remains to be seen how exactly the evictions will be policed, as currently bailiffs can only act following a court order. It also raises the possibility of challenges based upon human rights laws.
We shall await the details of the proposed legislation with interest.