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.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

Read more

And the runner-up was OK about losing out to the “very credible” winner.

Read more

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:22
Eragon the chihuahua has been reunited with his owner for Christmas after being found in a Santa sack miles away from his home (Picture: RSPCA)

A tiny chihuahua from London has been reunited with his owner for Christmas after being found left in a Santa sack on a church porch all the way in Hertfordshire.

Yesterday, 18:02
A murder investigation was launched after police were called to reports of a man stabbed at Lumley Flats in Pimlico Road (Picture: Google Streetview)

A 65-year-old woman has been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of murder following the fatal stabbing of a man at a flat in Pimlico.

Yesterday, 19:08
Chloe Williams  has not been seen since 3.30pm on Saturday, December 21 after leaving her home in Chingford (Picture: Metropolitan Police)

Police are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a missing 20-year-old woman from Chingford who said she was going to a friend’s house and has not been since.

London Bloggers

Thursday, November 27, 2014
The main room at the Museum of Comedy (Pic: Steve Ullathorne)

This week I visited the Museum of Comedy located at the corner of Museum Street and Bloomsbury Way in the crypt under St George’s Church.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Bird Lovegod

I genuinely and honestly have only a slight problem when it comes to buying domain names.

Friday, November 14, 2014
Bird says back up your data

What happened after a friend of mine lost basically everything he’d created in the last 5 years: