The Immigration Bill, inclusive of the controversial Right To Rent measures, received its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. This came despite months of calls for the Government to show the results of the pilot project in the West Midlands.
MP’s voted by 323 votes to 274, giving a Government majority of 49.
During the debate, Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham utilised the debate to question current Home Secretary Theresa May on the findings of the pilot scheme. Mr Burnham believes that landlords are still not sufficiently equipped and are unwilling to act as border guards. Under the proposed changes, landlords will be charged with having to check the immigration status of potential tenants.
Burnham suggests that this will lead to widespread discrimination, with many would-be British tenants being unfairly penalised. However, Theresa May said that the measures included in the Bill would lead to ‘greater fairness to British citizens and legitimate migrants.’
Following the successful reading of the Bill, the next stage is for MPs to undertake a detailed scrutiny of the plans. After this, the Bill will return to the Commons in order for MPs to consider their changes and then onto the House of Lords, where it will be debated once again.
MP’s vote for the Right To Rent
Should the Right to Rent measures remain unchanged in the Bill, it will be the responsibility of all landlords and letting agents to carry out status checks for all new tenancy agreements. In the majority of cases, this will involve the checking of passports or residents permit. Landlords or agents can also use an online form submitted to the Home Office, which promises to provide responses on immigration status within two working days.
If the Bill eventually becomes a Law, these legislations will also apply to individuals taking in lodgers and also to tenants who wish to sub-let properties. A failure to adhere to these rules could see landlords fined £3,000 or even face a jail sentence.