June 2021 is set to see new immigation regulations for UK landlords for the first time in seven years.
Making sure EU are compliant
In 2014, the UK government introduced Right To Rent checks which required UK landlords and agents to check the immigration status of any prospective tenants by examining ID documents before confirming a tenancy. The legislation means that landlords need to ask prospective tenants (including everybody who will be living in the property) for original documents proving that they have the right to live in the UK. Landlords are also responsible for keeping copies of these documents and conducting follow up checks (for example, checking that a new visa has been acquired on the expiration of the document shown at the beginning of the tenancy.
Don’t get out of your depth with overseas tenants
Following Britain’s exit from the EU, new rules will come into effect for landlords from June of next year due to the fact that free movement ends on the 1st of January 2021. After this date, points based system will be introduced at which time all EU and non-EU residents will need to demonstrate that they have a job offer from an approved sponsor and that they speak English before being allowed to remain in the country. Before the 30th of June 2021, EU citizens who have been living in the UK before 31st of December 2020 will have the opportunity to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to remain in the country.
For landlords, this will mean extra checks when vetting prospective tenants - in addition to checking the individual’s right to be in the country, clarification will also need to be made regarding employment and language.
Although the new legislation is still some 16 months away, UK landlords are advised to ensure that they are aware of the implications and, that they discuss the situation with any long-term tenants in order to make sure that they remain compliant.