Right to rent checks were first introduced in February 2016 meaning before a landlord rents a property, they must have carried out checks to ensure that the tenant or tenants have the right to rent in the UK. These checks must be carried out on all tenants even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement.
You can view here a list of documents that are acceptable here. It also details what you should be looking out for which includes checking photos are a true likeness, the document doesn’t appear to have been tampered with, the date of birth seems credible/ accurate and consistent with other documents and paperwork you have seen.
- Take a photocopy or good quality photograph
- For passports copy every page with relevant information (name, date of birth, date of expiry, endorsements, visa stamps and certificates)
- Copy both sides of any documents
- Record the date the copies were made
Once you have seen all the documentation you can answer the questions here to determine if the tenant has the right to rent.
If your tenant has a time limit on their permission to stay in the UK, you must check at the end of this period, or 12 months after your first check, whichever comes first.
The government have issued fines to landlords totaling £265,000 so far averaging £654 per landlord. The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine, so it is important that you document and keep accurate records. If you are asked to prove you have carried out a check you will receive a referral notice to let you know you are being investigated. You will be sent an ‘information request’ to allow you to provide evidence that you have carried out the necessary checks.
David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance