UK Landlords ‘face more red tape’ after Queens Speech - But not when using I Am The Agent

One of the twenty bills set out during the Queen’s speech will see landlords legally responsible for the immigration status of their tenants. They will also be susceptible to hefty fines should tenants passports and visas not be checked thoroughly.

This new bill has caused a certain amount of outrage as many in the property industry feel that they are being made responsible for something that the UK Border Agency should carry sole responsibility for. Is it fair that this should be put on landlords?

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA) seems to welcome the bill saying: ‘Every landlord should thoroughly reference a tenant prior to offering a tenancy.’

This is correct. As an online letting agent, I Am The Agents emphasises the importance of thorough credit checking to ensure that any potential tenant is not only in a position to pay the rent and has a proven record of financial accountability but of course also to provide accurate data on their immigration status should one be needed.

Estate agents and landlords must be vigilant about obtaining copies of passports and visas along with any other document needed to ensure every tenant is legally allowed to rent long term accommodation in the UK.

We think the fine might be what is getting a lot of people upset. Vetting tenants as thoroughly as possible is in essential in our industry but having to pay thousands of pounds may be what's daunting some landlords and Agents. When using an experienced letting or online estate agent that provides a comprehensive referencing service this really should not be an issue, in fact it's standard already to do background checks to cover all of this information.

Here are some handy tips to help landlords:

  • Always check passports fully. Within the passport there should be visa issued for the United Kingdom as either a student, working or holiday. You need to check this and ensure the visit date does not expire before the tenancy!
  • We always advise obtain a comprehensive credit referencing for anyone who is staying in your property. Our online referencing is just £49.99 and covers: affordability, credit history employment and past landlord reference. This is both verbally and in writing and we provide you a PDF copy of this document to store and a check list of what ID to obtain from your potential tenant
  • Always set up a direct debit from a UK bank account, do not take cash or overseas payments
  • Always prepare a comprehensive Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. We prepare this for you and organise signatures via email or hard copy, it's so simple and just £65 inc VAT
  • I Am The Agent uses a comprehensive credit check that with the collection of passport and visa documents covers all aspects of tenant referencing and can put Landlords and tenants at ease.

If you cover all bases you will protect yourself and your property. At I Am The Agent our team are property managers and experienced letting agents, unlike other online estate agencies we are not automated, so we can vet enquiries and help with all aspects of your let to ensure you are protected!

To help out I Am The Agent are offering one free reference check worth £49.99 on every lettings order of £99 until the end of May 2013. Just mention it on your order and we will do the rest.

To find out more, visit

Please direct press queries to Rebecca Appleton at Dakota Digital. Email or Tel: 01623 428996.

About: I Am The Agent is an online estate agency with a no commission fee structure. It helps property owners to sell or rent their private properties with a number of service levels, advertising a property online assistance and 24/7 online management suites.