Landlords are now required to check if their tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
The new law
From 1 February 2016, it is a legal requirement for Landlords with property in England to check that their potential tenants have ‘the right to rent property’ in the UK. The new rules apply to properties rented out on or after 1 February 2016.
How to check if your tenant has a right to rent in the UK
There are four steps a Landlord must perform to successfully complete an initial right to rent check:-
- Find out which adults will be living in the property – this is regardless of who is named on the agreement.
- Obtain original versions of acceptable evidence demonstrating the adults’ right to rent. The evidence that is acceptable under the scheme is detailed in the Home Office User Guide.
- Retain a copy of the evidence and record the date when the right to rent check was performed on the copy.
- Retain a copy throughout the lifetime of the residential tenancy and for at least one year afterwards.
When to carry out the check
The check must be undertaken before the tenancy commences and can be undertaken up to 28 days before the start of the tenancy agreement.
Landlords could face a penalty of up to £3,000.00 per tenant if they are found to be letting property to someone who does not have the right to stay in the UK.
An online checking tool (https://www.gov.uk/landlord-immigration-check) has been made available to Landlords to guide them through the checking process. The tool can also be used to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office.
For further information on the right to rent or on Landlord and Tenant matters please contact our Landlord and Tenant Solicitor, Jacqueline Penfold, on 01323 727321.