Landlords across the country will face up to five years in prison if they rent properties to illegal immigrants or fail to evict tenants who lose the right to live in England under new measures announced by the Government this week.

Enfield estate agent Whitehouse Residential already check the status of every prospective tenant before they are allowed to move into a property but all Landlords will be required to check a migrant’s status before agreeing a new tenancy and they  will also be permitted to terminate rental leases, on occasions without a court order, when asylum requests are rejected. Failure to do so could see landlords face up to five years in prison.

The Government’s aim is to make it harder for illegal immigrants to live in the UK, while also clamping down on rogue landlords who provide immigrants with unsafe and often overcrowded accommodation.

Greg Clark (left), the Communities Secretary, said: “We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration – exploiting vulnerable people and undermining our immigration system. In future, landlords will be required to ensure that the people they rent their properties to are legally entitled to be in the country. We will also require them to meet their basic responsibilities as landlords, cracking down on those who rent out dangerous, dirty and overcrowded properties.”

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has welcomed the new rules for landlords contained within the Immigration Bill. Gary White of Enfield estate agents, Whitehouse Residential, says that more effort should be placed on fighting the cause of these problems rather than waiting for the problem to arise  and then local agents and landlords having  to act as part time immigration officers.