From 1st February 2016 private landlords are required to check that their tenants have permission to live in the UK and therefore have the “right to rent”.

The check must include  everyone who will be living in the property who is 18 or over, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement. It also applies if there is no tenancy agreement, or the agreement isn’t in writing.

Landlords who do not carry out such checks can be fined up to £3,000.

To ensure compliance with the regulations Landlords should carry out the following checks:

  • Find out who will be living there as their only or main home
  • Check their original documents and make sure they are the tenant’s and haven’t been altered, that all the information (e.g. date of birth and photo) is consistent on all and that if any names are different, that they have the supporting documents, such as a marriage certificate
  • Keep a note of the date you make the check
  • Take copies of all the documents and keep them for the duration of the tenancy plus one year
  • The checks can be carried out by the landlords managing agent, but Landlords should ask them to do so in writing and request written confirmation that the checks have confirmed that the Tenant and all intended occupants do have the necessary permission to live in the UK.

If the tenant has a limited time they can stay in the UK, the following applies:

  • Run the check in the 28 days before the tenancy begins
  • Run another check on their status just before the expiry of their right to stay or 12 months after your last check, depending on which is longest
  • If they don’t have a right to stay at that point, the Home Office must be informed.

If the Home Office has the tenant’s documents, Landlords can use their checking service using their Home Office reference number.




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