One of the UK’s leading immigration law firms has called on the Home Office to issue clear and unambiguous guidance on what constitutes a ‘grant of permission’ for overseas nationals to remain in the UK as many landlords struggle with Right to Rent during Covid.
The comments follow several policy changes following the Covid pandemic, which threw England’s immigration system into disarray and, for many, meant no longer being able to meet the conditions of their stay after losing their jobs or being unable to return home.
This has put thousands into a legal limbo and, although the Home Office has granted them extensions, there is ‘nothing in law which confirms the basis for extensions being granted… nor have individuals received any physical evidence of the extension,” say Laura Devine, founder of immigration law specialist Laura Devine Solicitors (pictured, above).
She claims that this has created difficulties for people proving status to employers and landlords.
Devine complains that each of the extensions have lacked a precise legal basis for the conditions of leave remaining in place.
“Information should be clear and unambiguous as to what constitutes a grant of permission and what does not,” adds Devine.
“Individuals need time to plan, to apply for further permission if needed, and to prove status to employers, landlords or others.
“Any time-limited policies need to be updated well ahead of time to avoid individuals fearing reprisals of overstaying their permission.”
As well as the legal duty to check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent their property in England, landlords are also required to complete a follow-up check at the end of the tenant’s permission to stay period or 12 months after a previous check, whichever is sooner, or face a fine of up to £3,000.