Statement to Parliament: Implementation of the Immigration Act 2014

Minister for Security and Immigration (James Brokenshire):

I am announcing today the location in which the measures relating to landlords as prescribed by sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014 will first be implemented. The Immigration Act 2014 contains a range of measures to reform and streamline the immigration system and address illegal immigration. It introduces restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing rented housing. When these provisions come into force, landlords will be prohibited from letting residential accommodation to people who have been disqualified by virtue of their immigration status.

The government has committed to a phased implementation of these provisions with the measures initially coming into force in one location, followed by an evaluation to inform decisions on further roll-out. I wish to inform the House that after careful consideration, the scheme is to be implemented first in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell. The new measures will commence in this area from 1 December.

To assist and advise the implementation and evaluation of the measures, the government is convening a consultative panel. The panel consists of bodies that represent landlords, letting agents, housing and homeless charities and others with an informed interest in the matter, and will also include representatives from the local authorities in these areas. This will ensure that the first phase can be thoroughly evaluated and considered as part of the decision making process on further roll-out.