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Right to Rent Checks: What do they mean for landlords and tenants?

October 22, 2015

The roll-out date of the government’s right to rent scheme in England has been announced as 1st February 2016.

From that date, all private landlords letting property in England will be required to check the immigration status of prospective tenants (that they have the right to be in the UK) before agreeing to establish a new tenancy. The scheme will be implemented in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at a later date.

What does the new scheme means for landlords?

As of the roll-out date, every private landlord - including those submitting or taking in lodgers - will need to make right to rent checks.

What do the right to rent checks involve?

The checks involve: making sure the tenant lives in the property as their main home; asking for evidence that the tenant has the right to rent in the UK, (i.e. by seeing and making a copy of their passport); checking the evidence or the document is valid; and recording the date that the checks were made.  

Home Office right to rent check

Most checks can be completed without needing to contact the Home Office. However, if a tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with Home Office, you can request a Right to Rent check from the Home Office and will receive an answer within two working days.

What does the new scheme means for tenants?

As of the roll-out date, every tenant living in private rented accommodation will have a right to rent check. This also applies to tenants who sub-let their rooms.

To pass the check, tenants will need to provide a UK passport/an EEA passport or identity card/a permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain/a Home Office immigration status document/a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

How can we help?

Landlords who don’t make the checks could face a penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant if they’re found to be letting a property to someone who doesn’t have the right to live in the UK.

Don’t get caught out; we have an in-house paralegal department who run a “due diligence” process on all our tenants. As well as making sure a tenant has the right to live in the UK, they also thoroughly check bank statements and references before they approve the tenancy. This service is provided to all our landlords, plus we also offer a free rent guarantee with our Concierge package.

If you want to discuss the services we offer in more detail, please give us a call on 0207 099 4000.

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Denis Skachidub
2 March 2017

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