UK: Landlords Now Required to Check New Tenants” Right to Rent

October 22, 2015

Following the roll out of the Right to Rent check requirement from 1st December 2014 for landlords in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, the UK government has announced today that the scheme will now be implemented nationally and apply to all private landlords in England from 1st February 2016.

The new law will mean that private landlords in England, including those who sub-let or take in lodgers, must check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country by sighting documents that evidence legal immigration status in the UK and retaining copies of these documents to avoid incurring the penalty of £3000 per illegal resident.

Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said:

“Right to rent checks are quick and simple, and many responsible landlords already do them as a matter of routine. We are providing landlords in England with all the advice and support they need before the checks go live on 1 February 2016. The new rules are part of the Immigration Act 2014 which introduced measures to reform the immigration system. Right to rent is about deterring those who are illegally resident from remaining in the UK. 

Those with a legitimate right to be here will be able to prove this easily and will not be adversely affected. The government”s new Immigration Bill builds on the reforms in last year”s Act, making it harder for people to live and work in the UK illegally. The Bill proposes new measures to make it easier for landlords to evict illegal tenants as well as a new criminal offence targeted at unscrupulous landlords who repeatedly fail to carry out right to rent checks”.

How to Complete the Right to Rent Check

  1. Check which adults will live at the property as their only or main home.
  2. See the original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK.
  3. Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant, with the tenant present.
  4. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date the check was made.  Each page of the copy should be signed and dated by the person undertaking the check.

If you will be affected by the roll out in February 2016 and wish to speak to us in this regard, please contact us.