RIGHT TO RENT
Right to Rent checks became a legal requirement for landlords to carry out on tenants from February this year. This controversial requirement has been seen by many landlords as an unnecessary extra responsibility carrying out checks that should be made by customs and immigration.
It was announced in March by government that landlords will no longer be immediately criminalised for failing to report or rent to illegal immigrants with no right to stay. Changes to the Immigration Bill now provide protection for landlords who take reasonable steps in an appropriate time frame to terminate tenancies of those living in the country illegally.
Right to Rent:- Includes everyone who will be living in the property who is 18 or over, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement. It also applies if there is no tenancy agreement, or the agreement isn’t in writing.
Making a check
Find out who will be living there as their only or main home. Check their original documents and make sure they are the tenant’s and haven’t been altered, that all the information (e.g. date of birth and photo) is consistent on all and that if any names are different, that they have the supporting documents, such as a marriage certificate Keep a note of the date you make the check Take copies of all the documents and keep them for the duration of the tenancy plus one year Or you can ask your managing agent to run the checks for you, but you should put this in writing
Tenants with a limited right to stay
If the tenant has a limited time they can stay in the UK, you need to: – Run the check in the 28 days before the tenancy begins Run another check on their status just before the expiry of their right to stay or 12 months after your last check, depending on which is longest If they don’t have a right to stay at that point, you must tell the Home Office
You can read more about the landlord’s right to rent code of practice here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice