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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Schedule 9

288.The provisions in Schedule 9 will apply to those asylum seekers receiving support from local authorities under social services legislation prior to the interim arrangements taking effect, and those who claim asylum in country during the interim period (between regulations under Schedule 9 taking effect and Part VI coming into force). When Part VI comes into force those who have been accepted for support under the interim provisions will continue to be supported in this way until a decision is taken to transfer them to the Part VI arrangements.

289.Paragraph 1 provides a power to require local authorities to provide support to asylum seekers and their dependants who appear to be destitute or likely to become destitute.

290.Paragraph 2(1) provides that regulations must be made setting out which local authority is to have responsibility for assessing destitution. Provision also exists within paragraph 2(2) for support to be provided by a local authority (or the Secretary of State if applicable) on an emergency basis in the period between the asylum seeker making his application for support and a decision being taken as to whether he is eligible for it.

291.Paragraph 3 provides that the test of destitution to be adopted by local authorities during the interim period is the same as that which will apply once Part VI comes into force.

292.There may be occasions in which it would be appropriate to refuse, terminate or discontinue support and regulations under paragraph 4 would set these out. This might include any cases in which the asylum seeker abuses the support he has been provided with. The exact nature and level of support and the conditions attached to it would be set out in regulations under paragraphs 5 and 6. It is envisaged that, for single people, local authorities would be constrained to provide support by means of vouchers, with a small amount of cash, but they would be free to provide support for families in the form of cash if they so wished.

293.Paragraphs 8 and 9 contain provisions to assist local authorities under pressure as a result of the large numbers of asylum seekers they are currently supporting. Under existing arrangements there may be instances where asylum seekers being supported by one authority are resident in the area of another. Typically, this happens where there is a shortage of accommodation in the area of the authority with responsibility for supporting the asylum seeker. Regulations may be made limiting the areas in which local authorities may place asylum seekers while continuing to support them or the particular circumstances in which they may not do this.

294.Paragraph 9 allows regulations to be made permitting a local authority to refer elsewhere asylum seekers who apply to them for support during the interim period, provided that the sending authority is supporting more than a certain number of asylum seekers, that number to be determined by the Secretary of State. This will allow authorities which are already supporting large numbers of asylum seekers to disperse asylum seekers to other authorities which are less burdened during the interim period. However, such referrals may only take place if the claim appears bona fide; it is not intended that this should be a detailed assessment as it will remain the responsibility of the receiving authority to determine whether the individual is destitute.

295.Regulations under paragraph 10 would provide that those asylum seekers who make a claim for support to the Secretary of State while at the same time lodging their application for asylum at IND may also be dispersed.

296.It is intended that the power conferred by paragraph 11 may be used to require, for example, a registered social landlord to give reasonable assistance to local authorities providing support during the eligible period.

297.Paragraph 12 provides power to set out details regarding the procedure for applying for support and determining eligibility.

298.Paragraph 13 provides power to deem those supported by local authorities under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 or under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 on to support under Schedule 9.

299.Paragraph 14 permits regulations to provide that asylum seekers being supported by local authorities under the interim arrangements are no longer to receive assistance under certain items of legislation. In practice, it is intended that asylum seekers would no longer be able to have recourse, either to section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 or to the provisions relating to children’s welfare to relieve destitution. However, regulations could still make it possible to provide assistance under such legislation in certain limited circumstances.

Section 96: Ways in which support may be provided

300.Section 96 sets out the manner in which the Secretary of State may provide support for destitute asylum seekers and their dependants. The extent of the support is set out in subsection (1): it may include accommodation, or provision for essential living needs (including meals and personal care items), or both. Where a person has adequate accommodation (eg because he can stay with friends or relatives) he may be provided with living expenses only, and where he has sufficient resources to meet his living expenses but cannot afford rent he may be provided with accommodation only. There is also provision for meeting expenses associated with pursuing the asylum application; the last category would not extend to legal expenses, but would cover the costs of preparing and copying certain documents, and travelling to interviews with the IND associated with the asylum seeker’s claim for asylum. There is also provision to allow an asylum seeker and his dependants to attend a bail hearing in connection with detention under the Immigration Acts. Additionally, subsection (2) provides that in exceptional circumstances support may be given in other ways which go beyond the provision of accommodation, essential living expenses and expenses associated with the application until such time as the asylum seeker’s claim for asylum has been determined.

301.Subsection (3) provides that support should not normally be given by way of cash payments. The intention is that asylum seekers will be provided either with board and lodging together, or, if they are to cater for themselves, they will be given vouchers to be exchanged for food and other essentials at certain shops or supermarkets. They will be given a small weekly cash allowance to cover minor incidental expenses.

302.Subsections (4) and (5) give the Secretary of State the power to make an order disapplying or repealing the provisions that limit the extent of cash payments.

Section 97: Provision of support: supplemental rules

303.Subsection (1) of section 97 sets out factors to which the Secretary of State must have regard in providing accommodation. These are that the need for accommodation is only temporary pending determination of an asylum claim (so security of tenure need not be an issue), and the desirability of providing accommodation in areas where there is a ready supply (in contrast to areas such as London where there is an acute shortage of accommodation). He may also make regulations specifying further matters that he must take into account; regulations might cover such matters as the condition of the property.

304.Subsection (2) prevents the Secretary of State from taking account of any preferences as to location that the asylum seeker may express. He may also make regulations setting out other factors he is required to ignore. Subsection (3) allows him to repeal certain of the provisions within subsection (2). There is provision in subsection (4) for regulations setting out the factors which the Secretary of State must take into consideration in providing an asylum seeker’s essential living needs and which factors he may not take into consideration.

305.Subsection (5) provides that, in setting the level of support for essential living needs, the Secretary of State may limit the overall amount payable to any individual or family to a proportion of the level of income support generally available; in doing so he may recognise that the support is only of a temporary nature, and need not therefore include contributions to the replacement of items of furnishing or clothing that might be required in the longer term.

306.Subsection (7) allows the Secretary of State to disregard any preference an asylum seeker may express as to the manner in which the support is to be provided. Thus, he may disregard the preference a single person might express for self-contained accommodation and self-catering arrangements, instead making an offer of accommodation in a hostel that provides full board. If the asylum seeker declines to take up such an offer of accommodation the Secretary of State need not make any further offer.

Section 98: Temporary provision of support

307.There may be circumstances where an asylum seeker or his dependants need support before the Home Office has the opportunity to make a formal assessment as to whether support may be provided for a person under section 95. In such cases the Secretary of State is empowered to provide support on an interim basis until a proper assessment is made, where he feels the person in question may be destitute. The support may take any form. The provision might be relied upon where it was necessary to make emergency provision for people arriving at a United Kingdom airport at a weekend, before an assessment can be made by the Home Office screening unit.

Section 99: Provision of support by local authorities

308.The specific functions of local authorities in relation to supporting asylum seekers under housing and social services legislation are removed by the provisions contained in sections 116 to 122. Section 99 empowers local authorities to provide accommodation and essential living needs for asylum seekers in accordance with the arrangements made by the Secretary of State under section 95; the support might be provided to the Secretary of State or someone with whom he has contracted. There is no power for authorities to make such provision in other circumstances.

309.It is planned to invite local authorities to bid for contracts to provide accommodation under Part VI, either individually or in consortium with other authorities or other bodies. Accordingly, section 99 gives local authorities the power to incur expenditure in preparing tenders, and to operate in collaboration with other bodies.

Section 100: Local authority and other assistance for Secretary of State

310.The Secretary of State will be looking to the providers of social housing (essentially local authorities, registered social landlords and housing associations) for assistance in the provision and management of housing accommodation, and possibly in the provision of essential living needs where these are directly associated with the provision of accommodation. This section will require such landlords to co-operate with the Secretary of State when he makes such a request, so far as is reasonable in the circumstances. What is reasonable would depend on the particular case. It would be reasonable for a landlord to co-operate providing he had suitable spare accommodation which he could put at the Secretary of State’s disposal in return for appropriate reimbursement; it would not be reasonable to expect a housing association or registered social landlord to co-operate if this were in conflict with its constitution or articles of association.

311.Section 100 also requires a local authority to provide the Secretary of State with such information about their housing stock as he requests. Collecting such information would help the Secretary of State to decide which landlords to seek assistance from; or it might assist in deciding whether to designate a “reception zone” under section 101.

Section 101: Reception zones

312.The provisions of this section are intended as reserve powers that the Secretary of State would only bring into play if local authorities refused to co-operate with the Secretary of State in providing accommodation for asylum seekers. They provide that, having consulted with the local authorities of an area, their associations, and such other persons as he thinks fit, he may make an order designating a reception zone; in doing so he must set out the criteria used to select the zone for designation. The zone would typically be an area comprising a number of local authorities in which the Secretary of State felt there was spare housing accommodation, and the potential to construct a sound base for the support of asylum seekers.

313.Once a reception zone has been designated, and it is apparent to the Secretary of State that there is unoccupied housing available in the area of a particular authority which matches the criteria used to establish the reception zone, it would be open for him to direct that authority to make available to him (or to a person with whom he has contracted for providing support) a specified amount of housing accommodation. Before making a direction, the Secretary of State is required to make regulations setting out the method by which rent and other charges are to be determined; when such amounts are to be paid; and where responsibility rests for maintenance and repairs, and any minor work required to bring the property into use. The direction, which would last for no more than five years, would specify the amount of housing to be made available. Payments would be made to local authorities by the Secretary of State for property made available in this way under the provisions of section 110.

314.Section 101 also requires the Secretary of State to make regulations providing for a dispute resolution procedure, that would be used to resolve any disputes associated with property that is subject to a direction (eg as to how payments in respect of rent are to be determined, or what the true cost of repairs is).

315.Since immigration and asylum matters are reserved functions, it would be for the Home Secretary to exercise the powers in this section. But bearing in mind that housing is a devolved function, he would want to do so only after consultation with the relevant devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; in issuing a direction in Scotland he would need first to obtain confirmation of Scottish Ministers that the designation criteria have been met.

Section 102 and Schedule 10: Asylum Support Adjudicators

316.This section and Schedule 10 create the office of Asylum Support Adjudicator. There will be a Chief Asylum Support Adjudicator, his Deputy, and a number of other Asylum Support Adjudicators, all appointed by the Secretary of State. These adjudicators will be independent of the Secretary of State, hearing appeals against a refusal of support, or a cessation of support. The remuneration of the adjudicators and the costs of staffing their office are to be met by the Secretary of State.

Section 103: Asylum support: Appeals

317.This section provides that a person may appeal to an Asylum Support Adjudicator against a refusal of support, or the termination of support before the applicant’s asylum application has been determined (eg when he is required to leave accommodation because of misbehaviour); no other matters may at present be considered by the Asylum Support Adjudicator. If the Asylum Support Adjudicator finds in favour of the applicant he may either require the Secretary of State to reconsider his decision, or he may substitute his own decision. There is to be no further route of appeal against the Asylum Support Adjudicator’s decision (although judicial review will be available). Where the adjudicator has rejected an appeal, that person has no right to make a further application for support under Part VI unless there has been a material change in his circumstances. A power exists for the jurisdiction of the Asylum Support Adjudicators to be extended by regulations, at a future date, to include decisions on where support is to be provided. This section also provides that reasonable travelling costs incurred by an appellant to attend a hearing may be paid.

Section 104: Secretary of State’s rules

318.This section provides that the Secretary of State may make rules governing the procedure for bringing and hearing appeals. They may cover such matters as periods of notice for bringing appeals, the burden of proof in the appeals, the admissibility of various matters as evidence, the summoning of witnesses, how adjudicators are to proceed in the absence of the appellant, how they may determine cases without a hearing, and the publication of their decisions.

319.Subsection (3) provides that the Secretary of State should, in drawing up the rules, have regard to the objective of clearing appeals as swiftly as possible. This reflects the fact that a person appealing against a refusal of assistance is not entitled to support while he is waiting for the case to be heard.

Section 105: False representations

320.This section makes it an offence for a person to give information that he knows to be false, with a view to obtaining assistance under Part VI of the Act for himself or any other person. It also extends to failures to give information about a change in circumstances that might be relevant to the provision of support. Regulations made under Schedule 8 may require people to notify the Home Office of any change in circumstances within a reasonable period. The penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to £2,000, or three months’ imprisonment.

321.This, and subsequent provisions in relation to offences and recovery (sections 106, 107, 112, 113 and 127) have similar wording to the relevant provisions in social security legislation; in this case the corresponding provision is section 112 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (“the 1992 Act”).

Section 106: Dishonest representations

322.This section makes it a further and more serious offence for a person to obtain benefits or advantage for himself or anyone else by making dishonest representations. The section is directed at cases of serious and calculated fraud, such as where someone makes a plan to extract as much from the Home Office as possible by deception. The maximum penalty for serious fraud of this sort is correspondingly great; conviction on indictment to the Crown Court can result in imprisonment of up to seven years.

Section 107: Delay or obstruction

323.This section makes it an offence to obstruct a person carrying out functions under Part VI (either the Secretary of State or someone acting on his behalf) by either obstructing him, or failing to give him information when required to do so under the Act. It is punishable by a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Section 108: Failure of sponsor to maintain

324.This section addresses the situation where someone enters the country under a sponsored immigration arrangement (under which the sponsor normally agrees to support the immigrant for five years) and subsequently claims asylum. It makes it an offence for the sponsor to deliberately fail or refuse to maintain an immigrant in these circumstances so that he has to rely on the support arrangements created under Part VI. Subsection (3) provides that where the failure to support arises from the sponsor’s lack of resources as a result of his involvement in a trade dispute, this would not constitute deliberate refusal or failure. The offence is punishable by up to three months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding £2,500.

Section 109: Offences: supplemental

325.In the case of offences committed under sections 105, 106, 107 or 108 by corporate bodies, this section applies these offence provisions to both the corporate body itself and to the officer concerned. In the case of Scottish partnerships, subsection (4) applies the offences to both the partner himself and to the partnership.

Section 110: Payments to local authorities

326.Subsection (1) gives the Secretary of State power to make payments to local authorities or to Northern Ireland authorities in connection with the expenditure they incur in relation to asylum seekers or former asylum seekers, or their dependants. Such payments might cover the costs to the authorities of providing accommodation for use by asylum seekers (rents etc), of providing other support, or those costs that are not reflected in the local government finance settlement of providing other services for asylum seekers. Subsection (2) gives the Secretary of State power to make payments to local authorities, local authority associations (eg the Local Government Association) or Northern Ireland authorities in respect of general services provided to the Secretary of State in connection with his asylum support functions.

327.Subsection (3) gives the Secretary of State power to make payments to local authorities or local authority associations in respect of the liability to council tax that may fall to asylum seekers under the Local Government Finance Act 1992. Alternatively, it is possible to make regulations under that legislation to vary the liability for council tax of asylum seekers.

328.Subsection (4) obliges the Secretary of State to make such payments as he considers reasonable to local authorities to which he makes a direction under section 101(3) to represent the costs to the authority of complying with the direction.

329.Subsections (5) to (7) provide for payments to be made to bodies which have been made subject to directions under section 101(3).

330.Subsection (8) provides that payments under subsections (1), (2) or (3) may be made on terms and conditions determined by the Secretary of State.

331.Subsection (9) defines which Northern Ireland authorities are covered by the provisions of subsections (1) and (2).

Section 111: Grants to voluntary organisations

332.This section gives the Secretary of State power to pay grants to voluntary organisations for the provision of support to present and former asylum seekers. The Government recognises the important role that the voluntary sector plays in assisting asylum seekers and wishes to harness this in the context of the new provisions contained in Part VI. This section provides the means for doing so.

Section 112: Recovery of expenditure on support: misrepresentation etc

333.This section provides for recovery by the Secretary of State of what regulations prescribe as the monetary value of support given, under sections 95 or 98, to asylum seekers or people purporting to be asylum seekers, as a result of their having been found to have misrepresented, or failed to disclose a change of, their circumstances. It extends to recovery by the Secretary of State of the monetary value of support given by a contractor on the Secretary of State’s behalf. Recovery would be through proceedings in the county court in England or Wales, or the sheriff court in Scotland.

Section 113: Recovery of expenditure on support from sponsor

334.This section makes provision that, where a person was originally admitted to this country under a sponsorship agreement, but that person has now sought asylum and is being supported under Part VI of the Act, the Secretary of State may seek a maintenance order from a magistrates’ court in England or Wales, or a sheriff court in Scotland.

Section 114: Overpayments

335.This section provides for the recovery by the Secretary of State of the monetary value of any benefits provided under sections 95 or 98 as a result of an error on the part of the Secretary of State. The value may be recovered as if it were a debt due to the Secretary of State; in addition, subsection (4) provides that regulations may be made providing for other methods of recovery, including by deductions from future support payments.

Section 115: Exclusion from benefits

336.The intention of Part VI is to substitute a new set of welfare provisions for entitlement to the majority of the existing social welfare benefits that are available to permanent residents. This section (and sections 116, 117, 120 and 121) provides the basis for this, by excluding a “person subject to immigration control” from specified benefits.

337.Subsection (1) removes entitlement from all non-contributory social security benefits in Great Britain. From commencement of this provision, all existing payments of social security benefits to asylum seekers would cease (subject to any savings or transitional provisions). Those asylum seekers who as a result were destitute would be entitled to assistance under the new support arrangements set out in Part VI. Subsection (2) makes comparable provision for Northern Ireland.

338.Subsection (3) provides that the section applies to a person subject to immigration control unless he falls within a prescribed category or description or fulfils prescribed conditions. Subsection (4) gives the Secretary of State power to remove a person from this definition for particular purposes only. For example, he might be removed in relation to disability living allowance but not in relation to income support. The power under section (3) would be used, inter alia, in relation to those people who have rights under international conventions to which the United Kingdom is party, such as the European Convention on Medical and Social Assistance and the European Social Charter; if they have entered this country lawfully such people are entitled to normal welfare benefits, even if they are seeking asylum. Subsections (5), (6), (7) and (8) make provisions as to the making of the regulations under subsection (3).

339.Subsection (9) defines “a person subject to immigration control” as someone who is in the United Kingdom unlawfully (either an illegal entrant, or someone who has overstayed his leave); someone who is here on limited leave with a condition that he will have no recourse to public funds (eg a visitor or a student); someone who is here under a maintenance undertaking; or someone whose leave has been extended to allow him to pursue an appeal. These classes embrace asylum seekers if they are subject to immigration control in this sense (an application for asylum does not itself confer an entry status or leave to remain), and a number of other persons subject to immigration control.

Section 116: Amendment of section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948

340.This section removes all persons subject to immigration control (as defined in section 115) from entitlement to assistance under community care legislation (the National Assistance Act 1948), if their need for assistance arises solely because they are, or about to become, destitute. These provisions have hitherto been relied upon by single, destitute, asylum seekers: these people will in future be entitled to assistance under Part VI of the Act. Asylum seekers who need care and attention for more specific reasons (such as a particular physical disability or mental health problem) will retain that entitlement.

Section 117: Other restrictions on assistance: England and Wales

341.This section removes persons subject to immigration control from entitlement to a number of other forms of welfare support. Subsections (1) and (2) remove the entitlement of asylum seekers from social services assistance under legislation governing the care of old people, and measures for the prevention of ill health, where their need for assistance arise solely as a result of their destitution. Where there are other substantive reasons for access to these provisions, section 117 will not apply, and there will continue to be a right for assistance.

342.Subsection (3) removes entitlement of persons subject to immigration control to appear on a local authority housing register (and therefore to be considered for long term social housing), where their need arises solely on account of destitution. Subsections (4) and (5) disqualify a person subject to immigration control from entitlement to assistance under the homelessness legislation (Part VII of the Housing Act 1996).

Section 118: Housing authority accommodation

343.This section (which has the effect of replacing section 9(1) of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996) ensures that, other than where it is provided under arrangements made under Part VI of the Act, tenancies of local authority housing may only be granted to persons subject to immigration control if they fall within a class specified in an order made by the Secretary of State; such an order may not extend to persons excluded from benefit under section 115 of this Act. Both in respect of this section and section 119 it is envisaged that such an order might extend to those classes of person subject to immigration control as are entitled to receive social security benefits (eg persons here on unlimited leave).

Section 119: Homelessness: Scotland and Northern Ireland

344.This section (which has the effect of replacing section 9(2) of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996) ensures that persons subject to immigration control will only have access to the homelessness legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland if they fall within a class specified in an order made by the Secretary of State; such an order may not extend to persons excluded from benefit under section 115 of the Act. Comparable provisions for England and Wales are contained in section 185 of the Housing Act 1996.

Section 120: Other restrictions on assistance: Scotland

345.This section replicates the effect of sections 116 and 117 with respect to Scotland, similarly removing entitlements to general social welfare provisions, to the provision of residential accommodation with nursing and the provision of care and after-care from all persons subject to immigration control, as defined in section 115(9) or, as the case may be, those excluded from benefits under section 115. Again these exclusions apply only to those whose need for access to these provisions arises solely on the basis of destitution. Where there is another substantive need for assistance, the exclusions will not apply.

346.Schedule 14 contains further amendments in relation to housing legislation. Paragraph 73 removes entitlement to protection under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 from asylum seekers accommodated under Part VI; they can therefore be required to leave accommodation provided under Part VI without a court order having been obtained (as could any sub-tenants). Paragraphs 81 and 88 remove asylum seekers accommodated under Part VI from the security of tenure provisions contained in Part IV of the Housing Act 1985, and Part I of the Housing Act 1988 (which govern the secure and assured tenancy regimes respectively). Paragraphs 82 and 87 replicate these removals from the parallel provisions under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 and the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988.

Section 121: Other restrictions on assistance: Northern Ireland

347.This section makes provisions equivalent to those in sections 116 and 117 in relation to Northern Ireland health and personal social services legislation. It removes the entitlement of persons subject to immigration control to assistance under the provision governing the prevention of illness, care and after-care. It also removes all persons subject to immigration control from entitlement to assistance under general social welfare provisions, if their need for assistance arises solely as a result of destitution or anticipated destitution.

Section 122: Support for children

348.This section places a duty on the Secretary of State to offer and, if the offer is accepted, provide support under section 95 for the children and other minor dependants of asylum seekers who are in need. He is to provide them with adequate accommodation and their essential living needs.

349.Local authority social services departments may not provide assistance under the various child welfare provisions applying in different parts of the United Kingdom where the Secretary of State is complying with this duty or where there are reasonable grounds for believing that he would be required to provide support were an application for section 95 support to be made to him. This exclusion is, however, subject to any contrary provision made by regulations under subsection (11).

350.Where accommodation has been provided pursuant to the duty under this section and later withdrawn, subsections (7) to (9) provide that only the local authority within whose area the withdrawn accommodation was provided may provide assistance under the child welfare provisions.

Section 123: Backdating of benefits where person recorded as refugee

351.This section re-casts the social security backdating scheme for paying income support benefits, housing benefit and council tax benefit to those who are subsequently awarded refugee status, for any period of benefit exclusion whilst their asylum application was being determined. The new backdating arrangements will take into account the new support scheme for asylum seekers introduced by the Act.

352.Subsections (1) and (2) provide for a backdating scheme to apply to people awarded refugee status who were previously excluded from social security benefits by section 115, provided they claim within a specified period.

353.Subsections (3) to (6) make the provision needed for housing benefit and council tax benefits, which are administered by local authorities. Where the refugee has lived in more than one local authority area only one local authority will deal with any claim for backdated housing benefit and council tax benefit, and provision is made for the other local authority to supply information to the determining authority.

354.Subsections (7) and (8) provide that where a person or dependant of the claimant receives Home Office support, regulations may make provision for the determination of the value of the Home Office support package, and for the value of that support package, to be offset against the backdated payment of any benefit. The form of that package will vary according to the nature of the make-up of the accommodation provided and the arrangements with the provider. The assessment of the various packages will be based on the value to the asylum seeker of the most readily measurable package – that made up of accommodation, vouchers and cash.

Section 124: Secretary of State to be corporation sole for the purposes of Part VI

355.This section provides that the Secretary of State is to be treated as a corporation sole for the purposes of holding property under Part VI. This will assist in conveyancing, if the Secretary of State acquires property that he makes available to asylum seekers directly.

Section 125: Entry of premises

356.This section provides that a person acting on behalf of the Secretary of State may make application to a justice of the peace for a warrant to enter premises being used to provide accommodation under sections 95 or 98. Where the justice of the peace is satisfied that there is reason to believe that the supported person or any dependants of his are not resident there, or that someone other than the supported person and his dependants is living there, or that the premises are being used for a purpose other than the accommodation of the supported person or his dependants, he may grant the warrant.

357.Subsection (3) provides that, once issued, the warrant may be executed at any reasonable time and using reasonable force. In Scotland, a sheriff may exercise the power in addition to a justice of the peace.

Section 126: Information from property owners

358.This section allows the Secretary of State to require the owner or manager of property provided to accommodate asylum seekers under Part VI of the Act to supply him with information about the premises and the persons occupying the premises. This power might be used, for example, to require landlords to notify the Secretary of State when an asylum seeker had left property provided under an agreement, or when an asylum seeker was subletting the property.

Section 127: Requirement to supply information about redirection of post

359.This section allows the Secretary of State to require anyone conveying postal packets to give him information about any request from an asylum seeker for the redirection of post that may help the Secretary of Sate in the prevention or detection of offences, or in otherwise tracing and checking on asylum seekers who are in receipt of support under Part VI.

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