Private Rented Housing: Undocumented Migrants

Home Office written question – answered on 9th January 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many tenants and landlords have been investigated by enforcement officers under the right to rent checks scheme in the last year for which figures are available.

Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many landlords have been fined for housing a tenant who does not have the right to rent in the UK in the last year for which figures are available.

Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many illegal immigrants have been identified as a result of the right to rent checks scheme since its inception.

Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many illegal immigrants found to be residing in private rented housing have been deported since the start of the right to rent checks scheme.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

From 1 November 2015 to 31 October 2016 75 initial civil penalties were issued to individual landlords of tenants who do not have the right to rent in the UK.

As with right to work checks, the Right to Rent scheme is predicated on checks being carried out by third parties (in this case landlords and lettings agents). This means that the majority of illegal migrant prospective tenants will be denied access to the private rented sector as a result of these checks with no intervention by enforcement officers and no reference to the Home Office. The sanctions set out in the Immigration Acts 2014 and 2016 in relation to the Right to Rent scheme are there to address circumstances where the scheme is not adhered to by landlords and agents.

The Home Office does not hold information about the overall numbers of illegal migrants found in private rented accommodation. However our records show that between the start of the scheme and 30 September 2016, 654 individuals were either named on a Civil Penalty Referral Notice served on a landlord, or encountered on an enforcement visit during which such a Notice was served, or encountered as a result of information provided through the Landlords Checking Service, or encountered as a result of other intelligence provided about property let to illegal migrants.

Of these individuals, 31 were removed from the UK over the same period. Other cases may be being progressed to removal, or have been made subject to reporting restrictions, or have sought to regularise their stay, or have left the UK voluntarily. The Right to Rent scheme is designed to restrict access to the private rented sector for illegal migrants in order to encourage voluntary departure from the UK and discourage illegal migration. The Home Office will always investigate information it receives about illegal migrants and take appropriate enforcement action according to the information available and the circumstances of the case. It is not always possible to attribute a return or other enforcement activity to the application of a sanction earlier in the case or to the route through which a particular individual was brought to the attention of the Home Office.

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