Right to Rent

Right to Rent

“Immigration Legislation”

Right to Rent

Immigration legislation means that all private Landlords have to check that new Tenants have the right to rent.  Therefore, the tenants should have the right to be in the UK before renting a property.  As a Landlord, you can delegate this responsibility to your Letting Agent as part of a written agreement.

The penalties for ignoring the new legislation are severe.  For instance, the first time an Agent/Landlord breaches the rules, a fine of £1,000 per illegal adult occupier will apply.  This rises to £3,000 per adult for repeat offenders.

Subject to any Brexit-related changes, the legislation currently requires Landlords to carry out extensive checks to ensure a Tenant has British, EEA or Swiss nationality.  Should the prospective Tenant be of a different nationality, you will have to check their visa or passport to see if they have a Right to Rent.

Right Side of the Law

Firstly, here’s our quick guide to help you stay on the right side of the law:

  1. Obtain original versions of acceptable documents which prove the right to rent – there are certain time constraints on this.  Acceptable documents can be found on the relevant Government website 
  2. Fully scrutinize these documents in the presence of the holder or via live video link
  3. Consider whether the number of occupiers planning to reside at the property is reasonable for its size and type
  4. Make, and securely retain, un-editable copies of all documents recording the date checked
  5. Carry out follow-up checks on time-limited right to rent occupiers and report breaches to the Home Office
  6. Check excluded rentals eg: local authority Tenants, job-tied accommodation, certain types of student accommodation and 7+ year leases
  7. Above all, before dismissing a prospective Tenant, be careful that you cannot be accused of discrimination under the Equality Act

Secondly, this new legislation is an additional burden on Landlords.  In other words, it points to the benefit of appointing a managing agent such as ourselves, Callaways, for complete peace of mind in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

Finally, further information and the Government’s code of practice can be found HERE or please feel free to contact us direct on 01273-735237 or enquiries@callaways.co.uk .