As a landlord knowing all your legal requirements is a fundamental part of being a landlord. Not knowing is never an excuse. So are you aware of the Right to Rent Requirements you have to comply with?

Right To Rent came in as part of the Immigration Act 2014 under section 22. It states that people who are allowed to be in the UK can rent property in England and those adults (over 18) who do not comply with British Immigration Law are not permitted to live in a rented property.

This law came into effect for most of England from February 2016, although earlier in some places around Birmingham.

Why Do Landlords Need To Know About This?

This is important for Landlords to know because unless your agent takes responsibility you are liable. Even a householder with a lodger has to make sure that the lodger has the Right To Rent.

Those who are found to be negligent in carrying out this check to comply with the law, will liable for a civil penalty which can be up to £3,000 per occupier.

Landlords have to ensure that everyone over the age of 18 living in the property has the Right To Rent even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement.

Here are some of the documents a prospective tenant can produce:

  • British Passport
  • EU Passport or National Identity Card
  • Non EU Passport showing the holder has indefinite leave to be in the UK
  • Home Office Certificate or Residence Permit Card indicating permanent residency
  • Certificate of Naturalisation

As a landlord or agent you are not expected to be Immigration Control but you do have an obligation to carry out some checks. Firstly you must see the original document and meet the person.

Some things to look out for:

  • The documentation looks in good condition and that it hasn’t been tampered with
  • The dates are still valid
  • There is a likeness between the person and the photograph
  • The person’s date of birth is plausible – do they look the right age for their date of birth?

Always date the documents with the date they were checked and if the document expires before the end of the tenancy agreement then you will need to check the new documentation.

If a prospective tenant is abroad then it is recommended that you obtain a copy of their document and carry out video call initially. You can then only issue them with a temporary agreement until you are able to check their originals once they arrive in England.

If you have made reasonable enquiries and then the tenant moves someone in without your knowledge then the tenant becomes liable for checking and the penalty. However if you find out about it you have take steps to inform the authorities.

Every person over the age of 18 must have the Right To Rent in the UK and you have to prove that you have made all reasonable enquiries. At £3,000 per occupier who doesn’t have the Right To Rent it can be an expensive mistake for the sake of checking some documents. 

At Purple Hat Property we will ensure all Right To Rent requirements are in place and we take the liability away from you at the beginning of the tenancy. If we fully manage the property we will also check their documents again if they expire during the tenancy.

If you know a householder with a lodger or a landlord renting out their  own properties send them this link so they can make sure they are compliant.