A leading British letting agent has called on politicians to defer the upcoming Right to Rent Immigration checks until the beginning of next year, after what she called a, ‘summer of confusion.’
Lisa Simon, head of letting at Carter Jonas, said that the recent confusion over the implementation of smoke alarm legislation, coupled with changes to the Section 21 notice, means it is already a confusion time for landlords.
With Prime Minister David Cameron indicating that Right to Rent legislation, covering letting to immigrants, will also come into effect during the Autumn, Simon is worried about landlords’ workloads.
‘There is just too much change to absorb at short notice,’ she observed. ‘The House of Lords decided there had not been enough consultation on smoke and CO alarm legislation and rejected it with three weeks to go. Landlords thought they had a reprieve in meeting the deadline only to find this week that the legislation had gone through with exactly two weeks to the deadline so those who prevaricated now need to rush to avoid possible £5,000 fines,’ she continued.
‘Last December, a trial of rules that required landlords and letting agents to check the immigration status of all tenants was introduced in the West Midlands,’ Simon continued. ‘After the election, David Cameron revealed that the national roll-out would take place this autumn, Well, autumn is here and no-one has any idea what is going on.’
Leading agent wants RTR deferred until 2016
With the migrant crisis showing no signs of abating, Simon believes that, ‘Right to Rent coming in now, with so many people on the move across Europe to claim refugee status and what some have unkindly called swarms of people trying to cross from France, would be an absolute nightmare.’
‘It must not go ahead until things are more settled, both in terms of population movement and discovering just how effective the trial period has been,’ she declared.