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Right to rent checks

From 1 February 2016 landlords and others involved in the rental of property will need to verify that their tenants have the right to be in the UK.
This is a further level of red tape that will need to be considered from next month. The details published by the Home Office are set out below:
What the new right to rent checks mean for private landlords and tenants. From 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England will have to make right to rent checks. This means checking that tenants have the right to be in the UK.

What this means for landlords

You need to make right to rent checks if you:
  • are a private landlord
  • have a lodger
  • are sub-letting a property
  • are an agent appointed by a landlord to make right to rent checks
Some landlords won’t need to make the checks.

How to make a right to rent check

  1. Check adult tenant(s) will live in the property as their only or main home
  2. Ask tenant(s) for the original document(s) that show they have the right to be in the UK
  3. Check the documents are valid with the tenant present
  4. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check

Making a right to rent check with the Home Office

If a tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, you can request a Home Office right to rent check.

What this means for tenants

All tenants with tenancy agreements for privately rented accommodation after 1 February 2016 will be checked by a landlord or agent to make sure they have the right to rent.
Tenants who sub-let their room will also need to make right to rent checks.

Documents tenants can provide

Landlords will need to see certain documents, which prove that the tenant has the right to be in the UK.
Acceptable documents include:
  • UK passport
  • EEA passport or identity card
  • permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
  • Home Office immigration status document
  • certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen
Landlords who don’t make the checks could be fined up to £3,000 if they rent out a property to someone who’s in the UK illegally.
Right to rent checks have been introduced as part of the government’s ongoing reforms to the immigration system.
A draft code of practice with more information can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice#history