Prime Minister David Cameron caused a surprise yesterday when he seemingly announced the introduction of a mandatory licensing regime of private landlords.
During his speech on immigration, Cameron shocked many observers by stating that the new scheme would come alongside the rolling out of the ‘right to rent’ regime across the whole of Britain.
The news came as such a surprise as the Tories made no mention of such a move in their election manifesto and have long been opposed to any mandatory licensing scheme.
However, in his address, Mr Cameron said, ‘there are other ways we can identify those who shouldn’t be here, for example through housing. For the first time we’ve had landlords checking whether their tenants are here legally.’
‘The Liberal Democrats only wanted us to run a pilot on that one. But now we’ve got a majority, we will roll it out nationwide and we’ll change the rules so landlords can evict illegal immigrants more quickly.’
We’ll also crack down on the unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants by introducing a new mandatory licensing regime. And, a bit like ending jobs when visas expire, we’ll consult on cancelling tenancies automatically at the same point.’
‘Its not just through housing and jobs; we can track down illegal migrants through the banking system too.’
Despite the announcement, there has been no indication as yet into when the scheme will be introduced, how it will be enforced or if it will extend to letting agents. This however would seem unlikely, due to the fact that agents already act on behalf of landlords for right to rent checks.