In the UK, the responsibility for checking the residential status of a tenant can often fall on the landlord or letting agent. As will be outlined below, there are many types of residential statuses in the UK, and this can lead to confusion and costly mistakes if proper due diligence is not taken. To resolve this issue, No Letting Go have introduced a right to rent check service to ensure that the necessary steps have been taken to perform these checks, thus reliving the burden that has been placed on property owners shoulders.
The fine for renting property to those who do not have the right to do so can be a costly affair. This could be up £1,000 for a first offence and up to a further £3,000 for further penalties. In some circumstances you could even receive a 5-year prison sentence with an unlimited fine! Full details of the penalties for renting can be found on the Government Website. What is clear is that this is an area where you do not want to cut corners and leave yourself exposed!
Right to rent refers to a government initiative to require all landlords in the United Kingdom to perform due diligence to check that their tenants have a legal status to live in the UK. This is why before you can rent a home, either the landlord or letting agent will ask to see a tenant’s passport and carry out immigration checks before renting the property.
This was introduced with the aim of making it incredibly difficult for people to rent property in the UK without the correct legal status to do so. As a result, any private tenant in England with a tenancy after 1st February 2016 as their main home must prove they have the right to live in the country. As of the time of writing this does not include tenancies in the rest of the UK until further work with devolved administrations has been completed.
For a right to rent check to be completed, the landlord or letting agent must perform the following steps:
Check an original item of identification to ensure that they have the right to live in UK legally. A list of current acceptable items can be found on the Government Website and include documents such as a UK/EU passport and a permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain.
These documents must be checked for every adult occupier in the property aged 18 or over. This is the case for all occupants, whether they are named on the tenancy agreement or not.
Copies of these documents must be made and stored securely throughout the course of the tenancy and for a period of 1 year after termination.
Follow up checks must be carried out when immigrations statuses are subject to time restrictions such a student visa.
Return the original documents to their rightful owners on completion of the checks.
The purpose of this guide is to give a brief overview of the requirements of landlords and letting agents when it comes to the legal status of their tenants in the UK. There are many more extensions or alterations to the law in different circumstances such as sub-letting, overseas renters and changes to immigration statuses during the course of tenancies. The home office have put together A short guide on right to rent which goes into more detail. At No Letting Go we are always happy to help and would urge you to get in touch should you have any further questions or queries regarding this article.
Perhaps one of the most sensitive and potentially litigious times for landlords and tenants comes at the end of a tenancy, when the state of a property or its fittings can put a deposit at risk, leading to disputes. A checkout report completed by an impartial party can help avoid this potential issue by providing [...]READ MORE
In England and Wales, Public Health England confirmed 359 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease, with 25 leading to death. The financial consequences to those held responsible for the infections were serious, but as a landlord, are you also in danger of breaking the law? What is Legionella? Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia [...]READ MORE
A property inventory is a very important tool for anyone renting or managing a let property, and having this facility as a specifically designed system can greatly enhance its efficiency. What challenges should a property inventory address? When completing a property inventory, you need to have the confidence that it’s not only recording information accurately [...]READ MORE
Owning a franchise is a very popular starting option for anyone with an urge to run their own business. At No Letting Go, our franchise business is thriving as entrepreneurial spirits join us and take advantage of the many opportunities an inventory management franchise offers. Why is inventory management a good business opportunity? The rental [...]READ MORE