A lettings industry supplier is launching an app that checks the immigration status of tenants in just two seconds.
The app will be available on smartphones and tablets, and uses optical recognition software as it scans documentation.
The managing director of UKtenantdata, Tony Williams, says that the system will make checking immigration statuses as easy as sending a text.
Firm Launches App that Checks Immigration Status in 2 Seconds
The service will be free to agents that already use UKtenantdata’s tenant screening plan and as a stand-alone option for other agents.
The date of the nationwide roll out of the right to rent scheme is yet to be confirmed, as well as other details.
However, Williams states: “It is a fact. Letting agents and landlords are now unpaid immigration officers.
“We thought: If you have to do the job, we may as well make it an easy one.”
The app will be launched ahead of the national roll out and can read worldwide passports, EU ID cards, UK visas and UK drivers’ licenses, extracting the relevant information.
The data is then passed onto servers for validation and is then placed in the prospective tenant’s reference file.
The software will highlight any visas that are about to expire, allowing the agent time to update the system with new documents. If a hopeful tenant does not provide the new documentation, the app gives an option to report to border control.
If the agent is subject to an audit, the app confirms that checks have been made.
UKtenantdata has made a £250,000 investment in the optical recognition software.
Williams says that the app will initially be available on iOS, but will be developed for Android users and other platforms later this year.
He continues: “Current beta testing for the new system has exceeded our expectations and we believe letting specialists will be astounded at what it can do for their business.
“Back in 1998, the overseas landlord scheme came into play; no one really paid that much attention until the audit letters started to come in from HMRC. The result – fines all round!
“Non-compliance of Immigration Act 2014 won’t be any different and will, if ignored, potentially put agencies out of business, or worse, the principals in prison.”1
Visit the firm’s website here: https://www.uktenantdata.com