The Home Office has released details of how landlords will be expected to carry out right to rent checks to make sure tenants are entitled to be in the UK.
From 1 February 2016, you will be affected if you are a private landlord, have a lodger, are sub-letting a property or are an agent appointed by a landlord to carry out right to rent checks.
If you come under any of these categories then you will need to:
- Check adult tenants will live in the property as their only or main home.
- Ask tenants for the original documents that show they have the right to be in the UK. Acceptable documents include a UK passport, EEA passport or identity card, permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain, a Home Office immigration status document, and a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.
- Check the documents are valid with the tenant present.
- Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
You can request a Home Office right to rent check if a tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office.
The Home Office has produced some guidance about the right to rent checks that need to be carried out, but it is worth remembering that it is the landlord that will have responsibility to ensure that the regulations have been complied with.
During the trials in the West Midlands there were concerns raised about the availability of information to landlords, tenants and agents. So if you are a landlord the importance of taking properly qualified legal advice has never been greater.
Landlords could be fined up to £3,000 if they don’t make the checks and rent out a property to someone who is in the UK illegally.
Please contact us about the right to rent or any other aspect of landlord tenant law.