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Beginning today, Landlords will have to check immigration status of tenants.

Landlords

Landlords will be legally required to check the immigration status of new tenants under contentious new regulations that come into force today.

They must establish that residents have a right to be in the UK by asking for documents such as passports or identity cards and taking copies.

Those who fail to comply will face fines of up to £3,000 per tenant.

Right to Rent, which also applies to people who sublet their property or take in lodgers, was initially trialled in the West Midlands after it was launched in 2014 as part of immigration reforms.

Existing tenancy agreements are not affected.

The scheme, which will take effect across England from Monday, has come under attack over claims it could lead to discrimination.

Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: “These rules could lead to widespread discrimination and Theresa May should scrap them immediately.

“There’s a real danger the checks could become the modern equivalent of the ‘no dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ signs in windows and make Britain a more hostile place for anyone with a foreign-sounding name.”

The Home Office said the roll-out of Right to Rent has been taken up after consultations with trade bodies, local authorities, housing charities and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

It has published codes of practice including guidance on avoiding unlawful discrimination.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said many landlords already carry out simple identity checks “as a matter of good practice”.

He said: “We firmly believe in creating an immigration system which is fair to those here legally, but firm with those who try to break the rules. That is why Right to Rent is so important.

“Over the past year, we have taken time to engage with the people who will be affected by the scheme, and carried out a thorough evaluation.

“The system we have designed is light-touch, and allows those with a legitimate right to be in the country to quickly and easily demonstrate their right to rent.”

Another immigration bill currently going through parliament includes new sanctions for illegal workers and restrictions on access to bank accounts and driving licences for those in the country unlawfully.

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