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Landlords to Check Immigration Status of Tenant

Starting from February 1, 2016 UK landlords will have to check their tenants' immigration statuses and make sure that their documents are genuine, or they may face hefty fines for housing illegal migrants with 'no right to rent.'

The bill passed in Parliament on Monday, states that a landlord must see their tenants' original documents allowing them to live or short-stay in the UK, while verifying that the documents are genuine and storing copies of them.

Under the Immigration Bill, tenants are now obliged to present their landlords a valid passport or identity card from a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or a visa that shows their right to rent in the UK, or even an asylum seeker identity card that also shows their eligibility to rent in the UK. 

Furthermore, landlords who let property to those with false, insufficient or expired documentation will face fines up to £3,000 per tenant, or in other words, each 'illegal immigrant' in their property. 

The government warns landlords to re-check the specified documents periodically.

The bill will take effect across England and existing tenancy agreements will not be affected.

With 9.5 million residents in the UK not owning a passport according to the 2011 census, many are worried that the new measures will create document-based discrimination in the country. 

Many think that the new passport control obligation could spiral into 'a culture of fear and discrimination' and bring about 'accusations of racism'.

Source@ Daily Sabha

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