Residential landlords are reminded that since 1 December 2014, the Government has been carrying out a pilot scheme (currently only in parts of the Midlands) requiring them to check the residency status of tenants and occupiers who have tenancy agreements lasting for less than seven years unless the tenancy contains a break option.
Certain types of tenancy are excluded: social tenancies, student housing, hospital housing and care home accommodation for example.
Failure to comply with the regulations can lead to a fine of up to £3,000 per occupier if illegal occupiers are found.
The landlord should seek and retain for the duration of the lease plus 12 months documentary evidence of the immigration status of occupiers.
The scheme will be evaluated by the Home Office in the next few months and the intention is to carry out a phased introduction over the course of the year.