Are you ready for Right to Rent?
From the first of February, all private landlords in England will have to carry out ‘right to rent’ checks on tenants for all new tenancies they grant. These checks will serve as part of the Government’s plan to crack down on those who are living in the country illegally, and landlords are warned that they could face a fine of £3000 if they are found to be letting property to people without the right to reside in England.
How will right to rent checks affect landlords?
In order to escape any possible penalties, landlords must ensure that the property being rented is the main home of their tenant/s, and must also obtain and make copies of documents such as UK or EEA passports, identity cards, travel documents or Home Office immigration status documents. A full list of acceptable documents can be found here.
For landlords in the West Midlands – where Right to Rent checks have been piloted since 1st December 2014 – the rules don’t apply to tenancy agreements in place before then, or renewals of those tenancies after this date, as long as it involves the same people and there’s no break in the tenancy.
Where to go for more information
Landlords are advised to be ready for Right to Rent and to understand what the new rules will mean for letting property in 2016.
The National Landlords Association offer immigration courses for both full NLA/UKALA members and non-members, which will cover everything a landlord or agent will need to know about carrying out the checks. Find out more here.
For advice and guidance on how to make a right to rent check, see the video below, or you can see the Home Office’s guidance on all aspects of the new requirements here.