Landlords Right to Rent

Landlords Right to Rent

 “Landlords and Right to Rent”

Landlords’ Obligations Right to Rent

The Right to Rent scheme requires you, or your agent, to carry out identity checks.  A document including a photograph does this.  Use a passport, permanent residence card or immigration status document.  Prospective Tenants must prove via their documents that they are either UK nationals, or have the right to live and work in the UK.  You can find a complete list of all the accepted documents on the Government’s GOV.UK website.  Landlords cannot ignore Right to Rent.

We at Callaways have been doing this as a matter of course as part of our referencing process for many years.  If as a Landlord you carry out your own Tenant checks, you must make sure that you obtain this proof of residency from 1 February 2016.  If you don’t, and are found to be letting to someone who is here illegally, the penalty is up to £3,000 per Tenant.

Pilot Scheme Evaluation

The Home Office conducted a pilot scheme.  Evaluation of the scheme showed that neither Landlords nor letting agents felt it had had any effect on the housing market, in terms of rent prices, turnover or availability of accommodation.  Most said that the checks were relatively undemanding to carry out, although a few did say they had taken longer than expected; between 20 minutes and an hour.  Most of us are only familiar with a UK passport so it will naturally be more time-consuming initially to verify other types of documentation.  We’re referring here to documents particularly from the EU and further afield.   Moreover, you will need to try and spot false documents.

Landlord Right to Rent Support

A helpline provides support alongside an online system produced by the Government that can check and confirm whether an individual has a right to be in the UK.  There is also a case-checking service for Tenants whose immigration application is still with the Home Office, which aims to provide a clear yes/no answer within two working days. During the six-month evaluation, all decisions – 94 ‘yes’ and 15 ‘no’ – were reached within the two-day target.

In terms of illegal activity flagged up by the scheme, a total of 109 people were identified as not having the right to be in the UK, 63 of whom the Home Office was unaware of.  Five penalty notices were issued to Landlords.  The Department of Immigration is helped by the clamp down on those who are here illegally.  Also the fines are putting money back into Government coffers.  But what are the real benefits of the scheme to the industry?

Rogue Landlords

Well, assuming the authorities continue to closely monitor the checks and follow them up, it will make it very difficult for rogue Landlords.  So it should do, for they, until now, have been overcrowding their properties with illegal immigrants.  Our Lettings industry should be thrilled at this good news.  Not only that, but once a Tenant has handed over concrete identification, they’re far less likely to disappear and break the terms of their tenancy.

Contact Us

We’d be very happy to discuss how we can help you with your tenancy checks.  So please call our property team on 01273 735237 or email