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Over 60 fines handed out in first eight months of Right to Rent – and just 31 people deported in almost two years


Financial penalties totalling £37,000 were handed out in the first eight months of the Right to Rent scheme’s roll-out across England.

Landlords and agents must carry out the checks on all potential private tenants under the legislation, which went live in February 2016.

Responses to Freedom of Information requests by the Press Association show that between then and the end of last September, a total of 62 fines were imposed, ranging from £80 to £3,000.

The Right to Rent scheme was preceded by a trial in the midlands which began in December 2014.

Between then and last September, 654 people came to official attention. Just 31 were deported.

Since last December, as well as civil penalties, criminal sanctions including up to five years’ jail have also been in place for landlords and agents who commit breaches of Right to Rent.

Separately, new research shows that seven out of every hundred new private tenants in England are foreign nationals.

Tenant referencing company Rent4sure has discovered that people from 133 countries have sought accommodation in the UK since last February.

Right to Rent checks were carried out on potential renters from as far afield as Haiti, Congo, Mauritius and Turkmenistan.

Of foreign applicants, the most common nationality was Indian (8%), followed closely by Romanian (7.9%) and Italian (6.6%).

Others in the top ten included Spain (5.6%), France (5.6%), the United States (5.1%), Australia (4.6%) and Poland (3.5%).

Even some of the world’s smallest countries were represented with applications from Luxembourg, Anguilla in the Caribbean and even the remote South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands which have an estimated population of just 30.

Since February 1, 2016, all private landlords and letting agents must check that tenants are eligible to live in this country.

Rent4sure’s figures also show that the number of invalid applications from foreign nationals has reduced from 4% to 2% in 14 months, showing that the scheme is having an impact on the numbers of renters who do not have the right to live in the UK.

Luke Burton, director at Rent4sure, said: “Our data shows the diverse range of nationalities that are interested in rental property in the UK, and highlights why suitable rental property is in demand.

“If we want to continue offering a warm welcome to people from across the world, the Government must work with landlords and letting agents to enable the buy-to-let sector to thrive and remain an asset to the UK economy.”

Rent4sure carries out referencing and credit checks on over 30,000 tenants a month and says it has 6,000 letting agents on its books.

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Source:: Over 60 fines handed out in first eight months of Right to Rent – and just 31 people deported in almost two years