Did the Government turn down free tenant-checking service?


The Queen's Speech in May raised the controversial issue of landlords being forced to pay for immigration checks on their tenants.

Now it seems that the government may have had the opportunity three years ago to adopt an immigration-checking service at no cost to landlords or the taxpayer, but turned the offer down flat.

Janie Gaston, operations manager for FCC Paragon, claims that the firm offered a "credible free solution" to the Deputy Prime Minister in 2010. The service was trialled with the UK Border Agency, and was successful in identifying some residents who should not have been allowed to work in the UK.

Gaston said: "We like to think we are a forward thinking company and our experience in this field led us to recognise the issues and try to tackle it head on."

The scheme was utilised in cases where there was already some doubt concerning the individual's nationality or right to remain in the country. When FCC Paragon offered it to the government in 2010, they did so on the basis that implementation of the program would cost the state nothing.


Current tenant-checking scheme will require landlords to pay

Gaston criticised the new program which will require landlords to foot the bill for background checks, saying, "this is just another regulatory burden for landlords and will not do anything to tackle immigration problems, as professional landlords will already be taking such measures via thorough tenant referencing.

"Landlords have not been provided with a solution. They don't know where to go to verify documents or how long it will take, and most wouldn't know if they were looking at a fraudulent document or not. This is a risky and careless step for the Government to have taken."


Share |

Post a comment

Comments closed