Landlord Eviction Plans Could Put Landlords and Property Owners In Dangerous Situations
A recent proposal by the UK Government to insist landlords evict tenants living in Britain illegally in their properties, without court orders, could cause risky situations, warns the National Landlords Association (NLA). They suggest that plans could lead to tenants acting irrationally placing the landlord in precarious scenarios.
The NLA’s Chief Executive, Richard Lambert, comments the Government are introducing the proposal rather suddenly, in light of the Calais migrant crisis. Ministers announced a change in the law allowing landlords & property owners to evict illegal immigrants before a court order in received.
Under this upcoming Immigration Bill for 2015, landlords have to evict illegal immigrants when they receive a notice from the Home Office that their tenant no longer has the right to rent property in the UK.
Landlords that fail to check the immigration status of a tenant may be fined or imprisoned for a period of up to five years, under a new criminal offence being included in the bill. If you are a landlord, you have to be extra careful.
The right to rent scheme is being piloted in the West Midlands and will be rolled out across the UK. It requires landlords & property owners to verify a person’s right to live and rent property in the UK by checking passports or biometric residence permit.
NLA chief executive warns: "I am slightly concerned that we are breaking the 40-year-old principle that it has to be a court that ends a tenancy – take somebody out of their home – rather than giving that power to the executive. But we do need something that will work in progress… It is a welcome step forward."
"The Home Office expects and hopes that the tenant will comply, but as we know, tenants are not always law abiding, even if under a court order."
"I do worry in the case of an illegal immigrant you possibly have then a despairing person in a desperate situation. That often leads to people doing very desperate things. Who knows? Barricading themselves in? There is the risk of defending themselves with all the force they can muster. It could put people in potential danger. We need to think through the consequences of the kind of system we are putting in place."
The aim of the Government’s new plans are aimed to discourage migrants on moving into the UK, according to Home Office minister James Brokenshire.
"Foreigners see Europe, and Britain, as somewhere that offers the prospect of financial gain. This is not the case – our streets are not paved with gold." Say some landlords and property owners.
The Government will announce stricter rules and proper person testing for landlords of licensed properties. Rent repayment orders will also be extended to allow local authorities to claim back rent payments from landlords who do not maintain their properties to a high standard, so its time, if you are a landlord, to think again about Rent Guarantee Insurance. But make sure it covers you in this scenario.
Whatever the situation, the law is the law, and for the interest of landlords and property owners, its time to check and ensure you have the right property owners insurance in place, its time to ensure your landlords insurance covers you in the event of any possible risk from your tenants, such as property damage, or contents damage. If you need any advice, just contact a member of our Landlords Insurance Team on 01501 218 019 or contact us here.