Check tenants have the right to rent or face £3000 fine

The private rental sector is hot topic these days, more regulation starting from 1st of February 2016.

Landlords, agents and people sub letting have to make sure they only let to people who have the right to rent in the UK.

28 days before a tenancy starts landlords, agents or those sub-letting must check that all adult tenants of residential propert have the right to rent.

This applies to adults who live at a property and use it as their main residence. Main residence is a place where they keep most of their belongings; live with their partner and/or kids, register to vote at that address or are registered with a doctor at that address.

Tenants in social housing and care homes will not need to be checked.

How to Check?

Ask for original documents, make sure they are geniune and do the checks in the presense of the proposed tenant! Make sure to keep copies of the documents and note the date they were checked.

How to make sure you are checking correctly?

  • Check the dates on the documents and make sure the tenants’ right to stay in the UK haven’t expired
  • Make sure the photos on the documents look like the tenant
  • Are the dates of birth the same on all documents and believable?
  • If the documents show different names ask why and ask to see supporting documents such as marriage certificate or divorce decree
  • If the tenant is overseas then make sure to see their original documents before the tenancy starts.

You are also required to keep checking if the right to stay has a time limit or within 12 months of the previous check or face a civil penanlty.

If the tenant does not have the right to rent then you must tell the Home Office and follow normal eviction proceedings.

If a person sub-lets a property without the landlord’s knowledge then they must carry out these checks or they will be liable for the civil penanlty.

People who have an unlimited right to rent are British Citizens, EEA and Swiss nationals. People who have the right of abode in the UK, indefinite leave to remain or have no time limit on their stay in the UK also have an unlimited right to rent.

A person who requires permission to be in the UK and does not have it will not have the right to rent in the UK.

Some people will be granted permission to rent by The Secretary of State even though their immigration status does not give them the right to rent. In these cases a landlord will not be liable for a civil penalty if they authorise accommodation for use as an only or main home by an adult who has been granted a permission to rent.

Any questions Contact Us.

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