Immigration Act 2014
What is the Immigration Act?
At the end of 2014 the Home Office introduced a new bill called the Immigration Act 2014.
The aim of the legislation is to control the numbers of international/non-EU tenants, living illegally in the UK.
This bill does not just affect the traditional landlord.
This is an unusual bill as it not only affects landlords and agents. Tenants who sublet and resident landlords who let out lodgings are also held responsible.
Previously, the regulations would not have included occupiers intending to live with the main tenant, but these legislation changes now mean all adult occupiers are required to be referenced to prove they have a legal right to live in the UK. This applies even if they have not yet moved to the UK.
The legislation does not apply to British, Swiss nationals and EEA citizens, or to company let occupiers.
What are your obligations?
Any person who agrees for a foreign tenant to enter into a tenancy of any type, must ensure the tenant has a legal right to live in the UK. Tenants must provide documents such as their passport visa to prove they are legally able to reside in the UK for the duration of the tenancy.
If the potential tenant wants to enter into a tenancy that runs beyond the time left on their visa – perhaps there is just 3 months left on their visa but the tenancy is for 6 months - then the ‘responsible person’ has a duty to inform the Home Office that their visa is due to expire and that they wish to remain in the UK.
The 'responsible person' must pass on the proposed tenant's details (full names, current address and contact details) to the Home Office. The home Office will then carry out further checks.
Every time a landlord renews a tenancy for a further term, they must check the status of the tenant’s visa situation before extending the tenancy. They must also keep records for 12 months after the tenancy.
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