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What does ‘Right to Rent’ mean for me as a landlord?

Right to Rent was introduced under the Immigration Act of 2014, and it is vital that both tenants and landlords understand the implications of this aw.

The law places restrictions on the access of illegal immigrants to rented accommodation in England by making all adult occupants prove that they are in the UK legally before they are granted tenancy. This is proven through a process called a ‘Right to Rent check’.

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What is a ‘Right to Rent check’?

This is when a prospective adult occupant of a rental property shows his or her identity documents in-person to a landlord or a letting agent. This process is similar to when you present your passport (or visa) to a border control officer at an immigration check-point.

The landlord or letting agent must take a copy of the documents, and must record that the check has been completed. If a tenant has a time-limited right to rent (e.g. a visa or Biometric Residency Permit with an expiry date), then the check must be completed within 28 days of the tenancy start ate, and the visa must be valid for the proposed tenancy start date.

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What are the landlord's or agent's responsibilities?

The landlord or agent must:

  • Check the documents of all adult tenants who will live in the property as their only or primary home;
  • Ask tenants for the original documents that show that they have the right to be in the UK;
  • Check the original documents with the tenant physically present and ensure that they are valid;
  • Make copies of the original documents and record when the check was completed; and
  • Conduct follow-up checks at the appropriate time (e.g. repeat the check when a tenant's visa expires).

If follow-up checks reveal that an occupant in a rental property no longer has a valid ‘Right to Rent', then the landlord or letting agent must eport that person to the Home Office.

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What documents are acceptable?

Documents that acceptably demonstrate a tenant’s identity and Right to Rent are dependent on the tenant’s nationality.

Options for EEA or Swiss citizens:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid EEA* or Swiss national ID card
  • Combination of valid UK driving licence & original UK birth certificate (British citizens only)

*Countries in the EEA are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden,& the UK

Options for all other nationalities are a combination of passport and a valid visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

If a tenant doesn’t have documents, what are the consequences?

The occupation of a rental property is conditional on all adult occupants demonstrating a valid Right to Rent prior to the tenancy start date. If any adult occupant fails to present himself and his original documents, proving a valid Right to Rent, then all occupants may be denied access to the rental property until this requirement is satisfied.

Want to know more?

Right to Rent checks have been introduced as part of wider government reforms to the immigration system. For more information, visit the Home Office website or contact: Sales@CentralParkEstates.co.uk