On 1 February 2016 the government’s Right to Rent scheme went live.
The new rules, introduced in the Immigration Act 2014, mean that landlords who let residential property in England, as well as people subletting their properties or taking in lodgers, need to carry out checks on all new adult tenants to ensure they have the right to rent property in England. Failure to carry out the appropriate checks could result in a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant.
What are you required to do as a landlord?
Making a Right to Rent check is quick and simple:
check which adults will live at the property as their only or main home;
obtain a tenant’s original acceptable documents showing that the tenant is allowed to live in the UK and check that the dates for the tenant’s right to stay in the UK have not passed. ;
check the documents with the tenant present to ensure that the documents are originals and belong to the tenant; and
copy and keep the copied documents on file and record the date of the check.
If a tenant’s permission to reside in the UK is time-limited, landlords can be fined if they do not make further checks before the expiry date or 12 months after the first check.
It is important for landlords and managing/ letting agents acting for landlords to clearly understand the extent of their obligations in order to avoid falling foul of the rent immigration checks. Several landlords involved in the pilot scheme in the West Midlands have faced fines.