For a long time, only civil penalties were imposed on landlords for failing to comply with the Immigration Act 2014, however since 1 December 2016, enforcement measures mean that a landlord who fails to check that their tenant has a right to rent is committing a criminal offence which can lead to five years imprisonment and an unlimited fee.
You could suffer penalties if you rent to someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to rent. Reasons include;
- If the tenant did not have permission to enter or remain in the UK
- If the tenant’s leave had expired
- If the tenant’s papers were false or incorrect
If your case is being investigated, you will receive a ‘referral notice’ informing you that you could be getting a fine (civil penalty). The amount fined will depend on the type of property involved and whether or not you have been fined before.
You can object to a civil penalty within 28 days of the date given on the notice. You can object if;
- You are not liable to pay the penalty – for example, you are not the landlord of the property
- You have made a correct check of the tenant and can prove it
- The penalty amount was not checked correctly
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Interpreting the law can be a minefield, more so when it concerns a very new, or niche or particularly complicated matter. To help our clients navigate the law and achieve the best possible outcome, our legal team includes solicitors who specialise in many different areas of law and business sectors.
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At LAWTEC Solicitors, we have specialist experience in all areas of Motoring Law/Immigration Law and Commercial leases and can provide our assistance in these matters with a free initial assessment to help you along the way.
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