Right To Rent Checks

Back in October, the Government announced new Right to Rent Checks, which will begin on the 1st February 2016. Find out what they mean for you, whether you are a landlord or a tenant.

What is a Right to Rent Check?

A Right to Rent check means checking that a tenant has the right to be in the UK.

I’m a landlord, what does this mean for me?

You will need to make right to rent checks if you are a private landlord, if you have a lodger, if you are sub-letting a property or if you are an agent appointed by a landlord to make the checks.

How to make a right to rent check: home

  1. Check the adult tenants will live in the property as their only/main home.
  2. Ask tenants for original documents to prove their right to live in the UK.
  3. Check that the documents are valid with a tenant present.
  4. Make copies of the documents and keep hold of them, recording the date that you made the check.

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

I’m a tenant, what does this mean for me?

All tenants with tenancy agreements for privately rented homes after the 1st of February 2016 will have to be checked by a landlord or agent to ensure that they have the right to rent. Tenants who choose to sub-let their room will also need to make the check.

Which documents can I use?

Acceptable ‘right to rent’ documents include:

  • A UK passport.
  • EEA Passport or identity card.
  • Permanent residency card/travel document showing indefinite leave to stay in the UK.
  • Home Office immigration status document.
  • Certification of registration/naturalisation as a British citizen.

Landlords who fail to make the checks could be fined up to £3000 if they rent a property out to someone who is in the UK illegally. The checks have been introduced as part of the Government’s ongoing reforms to the immigration system.