The UK Government has recently announced that the penalties for employing or letting properties to those without the right to work or rent will increase significantly, making it the biggest increase in civil penalties in almost 10 years.
At present, the fine for employing illegal workers is up to £15,000 per illegal worker for an employer’s first breach, and up to £20,000 for a repeat breach. The changes will increase the maximum penalty to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach, and £60,000 for a repeat breach.
Landlords currently face up to £80 per lodger and up to £1,000 per occupier for their first breach, and up to £500 and £3,000 respectively for a repeat breach. The increase in penalties will now mean that landlords can be fined up to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for their first breach, and up to £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupier for a repeat breach. The increases are set to come into force in January 2024.
The increases are the latest in a series of policies which are aimed at deterring people from coming to the UK illegally.
The Home Office has also stepped up enforcement action, with the police having already made more arrests in 2023 than they did in the whole of 2022. If you are a landlord or employer, it is crucial for you to carry out the necessary checks to ensure your tenants or your employees have the right to rent or work in the UK, or face significant fines.
Different ways of completing Right-to-Work and Right-to-Rent checks apply to different types of visa holder and nationality. To find more information on the Right-to-Work and the Right-to-Rent checks, please follow these links: https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-work and https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-rent respectively.
How Gherson can assist
Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.