Landlords in the United Kingdom can evict undocumented immigrants without a court order, according to an upcoming immigration bill. Also, if the landlords fail to check the immigration status of the tenants, they could face a fine or an imprisonment of up to five years.
“We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigration, exploiting vulnerable people and undermining our immigration system,” Communities Secretary Greg Clark reportedly said in a statement Monday. “In future, landlords will be required to ensure that the people they rent their properties to are legally entitled to be in the country.”
The new rules will be applicable only in England and the government will provide the landlords means to end occupancy once the tenant crosses the date of legal stay in the country, the Department for Communities and Local Government said in the statement, according to Bloomberg. If the Home Office confirms that the tenant’s permit in the U.K. is expired, the landlord will have to evict the tenant.
In addition, financial support for the asylum seekers will also be stopped, BBC reported. At present, about 10,000 undocumented immigrants, whose applications have been rejected, receive a taxpayer-funded allowance of 36 pounds ($56) a week because they live in the U.K. with their families.
However, the National Landlords’ Association has condemned the upcoming laws related to tenancy. Richard Lambert, the association’s chief executive, accused the government of introducing the plan “out of the blue” and expressed concern that those being evicted might resort to "doing very desperate things" such as locking themselves inside a property.
"I am slightly concerned that we are breaking the 40-year-old principle that it has to be a court that ends a tenancy ... but we do need something that will work in practice," Lambert said on BBC Radio 4’s Today program.