LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Right to Rent: A checklist for landlords

Right to Rent: A checklist for landlords

Even though Right to Rent checks have been compulsory since 2016, many landlords claim they still do not understand the process.

That's a risky position to be in. More than 400 landlords have already been fined for breaching the rules, with more than £250,000 in fines dished out.

New research from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), meanwhile, showed 44% of landlords were less likely to rent a a property to a non-British passport holder due to the regulations.


WHAT IS A RIGHT TO RENT CHECK?

Right to Rent was brought in by Theresa May while she was Home Secretary and began in 2016 as part of the government's 'hostile environment' strategy to tackle illegal immigration.

Since 2016, landlords have been responsible for checking the immigration status of all tenants.

However, many landlords have failed to fully grasp the process - a claim backed up by the RLA research that showed 53% of landlords were now less likely to rent to tenants with limited time to live in the United Kingdom, through fear of getting the Right to Rent process wrong.

Moreover, 20% said they were less likely to rent to European Union nationals - a damning stat that tells the tale of the UK's shambolic exit from the EU.

 

HOW SHOULD LANDLORDS CHECK IMMIGRATION STATUS?

Right to Rent checks are one of your main responsibilities as a landlord and even if the checks are undertaken by a managing agent, if there is no written agreement then the landlord would be responsible for any failure to perform the checks.

Landlords (or the agent) must:

 *  Check every adult who will live in the rental property as their main home

 *  Ensure every tenant has shown original documents proving they have the right to live in the UK

 *  Make sure the documents are valid and do so with the tenant present

 *  Keep copies of the documents and record the date they were checked

 *  Perform a follow-up check if required when the tenant is on a time-limited status

 *  Report to the Home Office if the above check reveals a tenant no longer has the right to live in the UK


WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE ACCEPTABLE UNDER RIGHT TO RENT CHECKS?

Under Right to Rent, the following documents are among those accepted as evidence of immigration status:

 *  A valid UK passport

 *  An EU/EEA passport or ID card or permanent residence card

 *  A travel document confirming indefinite leave to remain

 *  A visa

 *  A Home Office immigration status document or certificate of registration as a British citizen


WHOSE IMMIGRATION STATUS SHOULD BE CHECKED UNDER RIGHT TO RENT?

Landlords do not have to check the right to rent of people already renting your property if they moved in before the Right to Rent scheme was introduced in 2016.

But all adults who will be living in the property as their main home need to be checked. That includes lodgers and anyone sub-letting a property, although the responsibility to check sub-lets falls on the person sub-letting rather than the main landlord.

Landlords should be satisfied that any children living in their property are under the age of 18 and do not need to be checked.


The best way to ensure peace of mind with Right to Rent checks is to ask Martin & Co Camberley to undertake this obligation. Talk to us today about our property management services-