Right to Rent Checks for UK Landlords & Letting Agents
What is the ‘Right to Rent’?
From the 1st February 2016 the Government have introduced a Law in accordance with the – which requires all Landlords of private rental accommodation to carry out Right to Rent checks for new Tenancy Agreements. This is to determine that all adult occupiers of the Landlords property, regardless of whether or not they are named tenants or contribute towards the rent, have a legal right to live in the UK.
How does the ‘Right to Rent’ effect Landlords?
If you are a Landlord, have a lodger or are sub-letting your property, you are required to conduct certain document checks to establish whether or not a person has a right to rent a property in the UK. This only applies to tenancies that have started on or after the 1st February 2016.
A fine of up to £3,000 per occupier may be issued to Landlords if illegal immigrants are found living in your property and you are unable to prove that you successfully carried out the Right to Rent check. This is also applicable if no follow up check is made where required, or there is a failure to report to the Home Office where a tenant’s permission to stay in the UK has not been renewed.
What you need to do if you are a Landlord?
As a Landlord you or your Agent you are required to obtain, check and copy one or more acceptable documents which demonstrate each occupant’s right to rent in the UK no more than 28 days prior to a tenancy being granted. If you have appointed My Place Properties as your Agent then we will make these checks on your behalf as part of our referencing process.
Landlords who are making the checks themselves will need to see original documents (see list below) in the presence of the tenant, take a clear copy and retain a clear version or electronic record. If all of the tenants have no restrictions on their Right to Rent in the UK then no further checks are required. However if permission to stay in the UK is time limited then you are required to make follow up checks.
Any follow up checks that show a tenant no longer has the right to stay in the UK will need to be reported to the Home Office at: https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime
Interestingly there is no legal requirement to report to the Home Office if the initial Right to Rent check shows the tenant has no right to stay in the UK and no tenancy is granted. However we would suggest that the best practice would be to make the report to the Home Office.
How does the ‘Right to Rent’ effect Tenants?
If you are applying for a Tenancy on or after 1st February 2016 then your Landlord or Agent will need to carry out a Right to Rent check on all adult occupiers of the property within 28 days prior to the start of the tenancy. This requires them to obtain, check and copy one or more original documents which prove each occupier has the Right to Rent in the UK. A tenancy cannot be issued until the Right to Rent check has been satisfactorily completed. Currently the Right to Rent checks will not affect any tenancies already in force prior to the 1st February 2016.
What you need to do if you are a Tenant?
Tenants applying for a tenancy at a property managed by Crown Residential Lettings will be required to ensure every adult who will be living at the property brings into the office acceptable documents to show their right to live in the UK.
My Place Properties will take and retain colour copies of all documents supplied to prove each adult’s identity and right to rent in the UK. Copies may be kept in electronic format as well as hard copies and will be kept for 12 months following the end of the tenancy, after which they will be destroyed.
If any occupants only have time limited permission to stay in the UK then follow up checks will need to be carried out again either in 12 months’ time or before the expiry of their current leave to stay in the UK, whichever is the later.
Below are two lists of acceptable documents.
Applicants who are citizens of the EEA* and Switzerland – see List A. All other applicants – see List B
*Countries of the EEA (European Economic Area) as at July 2015 include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, 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 and the UK.
Tenants must provide either:
- 1 document from Group 1 or
- a combination of 2 documents from Group 2.
|Acceptable Single Documents – Originals Only|
|1.||A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British citizen, or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the ‘right of abode’ in the UK|
|2.||A passport or national identity card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.|
|3.||A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.|
|4.||A ‘permanent’ residence, ‘indefinite leave to remain’, ‘indefinite leave to enter’ or ‘no time limit’ card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.|
|5.||A biometric ‘residence permit’ card (current or expired) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’on their stay in the UK.|
|6.||A passport or other ‘travel document’ (current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is either ‘exempt from immigration control’, has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, has the ‘right of abode’ in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.|
|7.||A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the holder is either “exempt from immigration control” has “indefinite leave” in the UK, has the “right of abode” in the UK or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.|
|8.||A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.|
|Acceptable Document Combinations (any 2) – Originals Only|
|1.||A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents.|
|2.||A current full or provisional photo card UK driving licence.|
|3.||A letter from HM Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service or the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirming the holder’s name, date of birth and that they have been released from custody of that service in the 6 months prior to the check.|
|4.||A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check by a UK government department or Local Authority and signed by a named official (giving their name and professional address), confirming the holder’s name and that they have previously been known to the department or local authority.|
|5.||A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check from an officer of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer; from an officer of a local authority in Scotland confirming that the holder is the subject of a probation order requiring supervision by that officer; or, from an officer of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer.|
|6.||Evidence (identity card, document of confirmation issued by one of HM forces, confirmation letter issued by the Secretary of State) of the holder’s previous or current service in any of HM’s UK armed forces.|
|7.||A letter from a UK police force confirming that the holder is a victim of crime and has reported a passport or Home Office biometric immigration document stolen, stating the crime reference number, issued within the 3 months prior to the check.|
|8.||A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check signed by a representative of a public authority, voluntary organisation or charity which operates a scheme to assist individuals to secure accommodation in the private rented sector in order to prevent or resolve homelessness.|
|9.||A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check confirming the holder’s name signed by the person who employs the holder (giving their name and business address) confirming the holder’s status as employee and employee reference number or their National Insurance number.|
|10.||A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check from a UK further or higher education institution confirming the holder’s acceptance on a current course of studies. This letter should include the name of the educational establishment, as well as the name and duration of the course.|
|11.||A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check from a British passport holder who works in (or is retired from) an acceptable profession as specified in the list of acceptable professional persons at Annex A. The letter should confirm the holder’s name, and confirm that the acceptable professional person has known the holder for longer than three months.|
|12.||Benefits paperwork issued by HMRC, a UK Local Authority or Job Centre Plus, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions or the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development, issued within the 3 months prior to the check.|
Documents which show a time-limited right to rent. Applicable for applicants from countries outside Switzerland and the EEA (European Economic Area).
All documents must be valid (not expired) at the time of the right to rent check.
A repeat check will need to be carried either just before 12 months has expired since the initial/previous check or just before the expiry of the person’s leave/permission to stay in the UK, whichever is the later.
|Acceptable Single Time-limited Documents – Originals Only|
|1.||Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate (criminal record check) issued within the 3 months prior to the check.|
|2.||A current passport or other ‘travel document’ endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK for a time-limited period.|
|3.||A current biometric ‘residence permit’ card issued by the Home Office to the holder, which indicates that the named person is permitted to stay in the UK for a time-limited period.|
|4.||A current ‘residence card’ (including an accession residence card or a derivative residence card) issued by the Home Office to a non-EEA national who is either a ‘family member’ of an EEA or Swiss national or has a ‘derivative’ right of residence.|
|5.||A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK for a time-limited period.|
What if you can’t prove your right to rent? You won’t be able to rent property if you can’t provide the acceptable documents.
For more information please contact us or visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/right-to-rent-checks-what-they-mean-for-you