Questions raised over landlord immigration checks policy in Queen’s Speech

12:58 08 May 2013

Private landlords across the capital will have to check the immigration status of their tenants, under legislation proposed in today’s Queen Speech.

Hundreds of thousands of households live in privately rented accomodation in London.

The move, part of a string measures aimed at tackling illegal immigration, has been seen by some as a “distraction” from real housing issues.

The London Assembly’s Labour group housing spokesperson, Tom Copley, said: “Of course it’s important to make sure that people who are here illegally are found, but it looks like the government are trying to distract people from the real problem.”

“There is a housing crisis for all tenures in London, with poor conditions in the private rented sector where people are charged rip-off rents.”

He added: “I’m puzzled as to how this new immigration check law could be implemented, at the moment landlords and letting agents have no formal relationship with government.

“There is no national register of landlords. Many landlords routinely flout the few existing requirements placed on them – about the safety of their property or the need to pay tax on their income from renting.”

“Why are [the government] prioritising this and not taking steps to make conditions better for the 800,000 households who privately rent in London?” Mr Copley said.

But the National Landlords Association (NLA) welcomed the proposal, even though they stressed it was already practised by reputable landlords.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA said: “Every landlord should thoroughly reference a tenant prior to offering a tenancy; this is standard best practice which safeguards the landlord’s business.

“Tenant checks should include not only an identity check, as suggested, but also whether the tenant has any County Court Judgments, possible aliases and include references from their employer and a previous landlord. Such checks should highlight any immigration irregularities.”

He also called for local authorities to undertake “robust, intelligence-led, targeted enforcement” to prevent illegal immigrants who are refused housing being pushed into a life of crime.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Lots of people have been left scratching their heads after arguments made by pro and anti-Europe campaigners (Picture: London24 / Getty)

There has been no shortage of radio, television coverage and column inches devoted to the EU referendum on 23 June.

Monday, May 23, 2016
Mr Cameron and politicians from different political parties are campaigning to remain in the European Union ahead of the referendum on June 23. (Photo by Jack Taylor - Pool/Getty Images)

David Cameron made an early morning trip to a supermarket in Hayes yesterday along with Labour MP Harriet Harman.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Big Ben will stop ticking for months (Picture: Getty)

One of London’s best loved landmarks, Big Ben, is about to fall silent after hundreds of years bringing in the hour at Westminster - and you will be able to watch it not chiming every single second of every day.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Donald Trump and Sadiq Khan don't seem to be friends (Picture: PA Images / London24)

Donald Trump made an ominous-sounding statement as he continued his war of words with London Mayor Sadiq Khan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Protestors marching on Holloway Prison to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities (Picture: Ken Mears)

Jeremy Corbyn joined protesters for a march on Holloway Prison in protest at the government’s housing bill.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Commuters travelling on the District Line during a Tube stirke in 2014 (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Union leaders are calling for urgent talks with new London mayor Sadiq Khan to discuss issues they warn pose the biggest threat to transport services in the capital.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport