Legal Update – Right to Rent and Immigration Checks
As of 1st February 2016 Landlords and Letting Agents will be subject to further new legislation. This time the new legislation will surround Immigration and a Tenants right to rent in the UK. This legislation will also cover those who have a lodger or are sub-letting.
From 1st February 2016 the new law will introduce the requirement for all Landlords and Letting Agents to check that all Tenants over the age of eighteen have the right to live in the UK legally. This includes all occupants of the property over the age of eighteen, whether they are a tenant listed on the tenancy or not.
Existing tenancies are unaffected, although it has been best practice to ensure a Tenant is legally allowed to reside in the UK for some time.
Landlords will therefore need to establish exactly who will be living in the property during the tenancy and from here they will need to obtain, check and copy one or more original appropriate documents to confirm the Tenants right to live in the UK. This must be done with the original copy of the document and in the presence of the document holder and the Landlord must retain a clear electronic version of the document, recording the date the copy was taken.
Acceptable documents will include a UK Passport, Permanent Residence Card or a Travel Document which confirms indefinite leave to remain. A full list of acceptable documentation can be found HERE. Landlords will need to keep copies of these items for up to year after the tenancy has ended.
If the Tenants and or occupiers do not have any restrictions to remain in the UK then nothing further needs to be done for the remainder of the tenancy. If however the right to remain in the UK is time restricted then the Landlord will need to make a follow up check on the Tenant. The follow up check must be made before the expiry of the Tenants right to remain, or 12 months from the original check, whichever is later.
If the follow up check shows that the Tenant no longer has the right to remain the UK the Landlord must inform the Home Office HERE.
When reporting to the Home Office the Landlord must include the full name and address of the occupier, the date they first took occupation and copies of the documents the Landlord took as part of the initial Right to Rent check. The Landlord must also include their own name, contact address or contact for the relevant agent where applicable.
Landlords can be fined up to £3,000 per person if they are found to have let a property to someone who does not have the Right to Rent and they cannot show they conducted the appropriate checks both before and during the tenancy. Details on potential penalties can also be found HERE.
As the UK rental market becomes subject to more long called for legislation it’s never been more important to ensure that you as a Landlord stay abreast of the latest legislation, or if you use a letting agency that you make sure you are using a registered ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings) agent such as us at Hamilton Chess who are professionally committed to the highest industry standards.
If you have any queries on the above or need any advice regards to lettings in the local area then please do get in touch with us on
01753 624000 or email@example.com .
Mitch Moth MARLA
New Business Manager