Top tips for Right to Rent

Top tips for Right to Rent

The government has announced that from today, all private landlords in England will have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property.

Under Right to Rent, landlords must check identity documents for all new tenants (with some exceptions) including lodgers, take copies and store them for future reference. The Home Office claim that “the scheme has been designed to make it straightforward for people to give evidence of their right to rent and a range of commonly used documents can be used”. Others argue that the range of documents which can be used, alongside their lack of experience in this field, make this a far from straightforward process.

What is certain though, is that the penalties for not complying with these rules can be tough. Currently civil fines up to £3,000 per tenant are in place and the Immigration Bill 2015-2016, which is currently before Parliament, proposes criminal sanctions including prison for those who breach the rules.

To help you through the process, Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, has teamed up with Direct Line for Business to create an advertorial video all about Right to Rent checks.

Paul said: “I have teamed up with Direct Line for Business to create a series of short videos and supporting blogs aimed at educating landlords on their responsibilities in this ever changing market. This first one on Right to Rent explains in simple terms what landlords need to do and where they can find more information and help”

Click here to watch now


Here are some tips on conducting initial right to rent checks:

1. Establish the adults who will be living in the property.

Be vigilant and consider whether the number of occupiers is reasonable for the size and type of property. Agents should keep a record of any enquiries and responses.

2. Obtain original versions of acceptable documents which prove right to rent.

For unlimited right to rent occupiers, checks can be made at any point prior to a tenancy agreement being made. For time-limited right to rent occupiers, checks should be made up to 28 days prior to the tenancy agreement being granted.

3. Check the documents in the presence of the holder.

This can be done either in person, or via a live video link and agents must check that the documents appear genuine and belong to the occupier presenting them. Pay close attention to photographs and ensure details such as date of birth are consistent across documents. Also check they have not expired and explanations for any discrepancies are recorded.

4. Make copies of all documents and retain them with a record of the date checked.

Copies should be made in a format that cannot be edited later, e.g. photocopied, and retained securely either electronically or in hard copy.

5. Carry out follow up checks on time-limited right to rent occupiers.

Conduct them in the same way as the initial checks, retaining copies of any new documents. If an occupier no longer has the right to rent, the agent does not need to evict them, but should make a report to the Home Office in writing by post or email.

6. What if the occupier says they have the right to rent but cannot prove it?

If they cannot provide proof because of an ongoing immigration application or because they have a discretionary right to rent, agents can request a check from the Home Office. Confirmation will be sent within two working days.

7. Rentals that are excluded

These include local authority tenants; tied accommodation; student accommodation where a student has been nominated by a higher educational institution; and long leases (term of 7 years or more)

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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