Right to Rent Guide for Landlords
Everything landlords need to know about Right to Rent checks
The Right to Rent scheme is just one among many checks landlords must conduct before letting their property. It’s a legal requirement and landlords can face an unlimited fine or even be imprisoned if they rent out their property to someone who doesn’t have permission to live in the UK. Landlords must conduct Right to Rent checks for each adult tenant before they move-in to their property. In order to do so, landlords must have an understanding of what the scheme does, why it’s required and how to conduct the check.
What is the Right to Rent?
The Right to Rent proves you are a Commonwealth citizen and are thus able to legally live in the UK. It’s proven with original identification documents like passport or immigration papers.
In order to make sure every tenant living in the UK meets the Right to Rent, it’s a legal requirement for landlords to conduct “Right to Rent checks”
This means that before you can let a property in England, you must verify your tenants’ Right to Rent by performing passport and immigration checks.
Why are Right to Rent Checks required?
The Immigration Bill of 2015 made it a requirement for landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. It was created to hinder illegal immigrants from renting and living in England since all tenants would have to prove their legal status before moving in.
This protects both tenants and landlords by ensuring their tenancy is legal and valid.
How do Right to Rent checks work?
Landlords must perform Right to Rent checks on each adult tenant, in-person before move-in. You must require, check and verify each tenants’ original documents in-person.
You must also record when the check was done, as well as make and keep copies of the documents as proof. If applicable, you may need to conduct follow-up checks.
Which documents do I check for Right to Rent?
Valid documentation depends based on the tenant’s nationality.
Acceptable documents for EEA/Swiss citizens include:
- Valid passport
- Valid EEA/Swiss national ID card
- Valid UK driving licence and original UK birth certificate (British citizens only)