Breaking News – Immigration Act 2016 receives Royal Assent
The Immigration Act 2016, which will criminalise Landlords and Agents who fail to adequately carry out right to rent checks, has now received Royal Assent.
From 1st February 2016, Landlords and Letting Agents who fail to carry out right to rent checks properly are liable to be fined up to £3,000 per tenant. The new Act however goes further – if checks are not carried out in line with the rules, then Landlords or their Agents will be committing a criminal offence which attracts a custodial sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment. See our earlier article on what defences may be available to Landlords.
The government have wasted no time in publishing the first Commencement Order which confirms when certain provisions under the Immigration Act 2016 take legal force. In the first Commencement Order a number of provisions have been timetabled to take legal effect from the 31st May 2016 and from the 12th July 2016, including the offence of illegal working. However the Commencement Order is silent at this stage in relation to the Right to Rent provisions, which means that it is unknown when they will take effect, although the start date is anticipated to be during the course of this year.
Once we have further news about the date that the provisions will come into effect, we will publish a further article. Please note that we still intend to offer our unique service taking on liability for the checks that we carry out even after the new criminal law comes into effect.
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