Startling figures released by the Home Office have shed light on the true scale of measures taken against non-compliance to the government’s Right to Rent scheme. Since 2016, over 400 fines have been handed out, at a total value of £265,000. It’s clear that Right to Rent checks have never been more important for landlords and letting agents.
What is the Right to Rent Scheme?
Introduced in February 2016, the Right to Rent scheme requires landlords and letting agents to ensure the occupier of their property has the right to remain (and rent) in the UK.
This is an all-encompassing legal requirement which also applies to private landlords or those letting to lodgers. If the tenant is found to be illegally living in the UK, those letting the property are liable for a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant.
405 Fines in 2 Years
The Home Office have issued 405 fines for non-compliance of the Right to Rent scheme since 2016. Of these fines, the average (£654 per tenant) is significantly lower than the maximum fine amount, though altogether a total of £265,000 has been paid by non-compliant landlords and letting agents.
Since the scheme’s inception, the busiest periods for fines issued falls between April and September 2017 where a total of 151 fines were issued.
A Controversial Scheme
Many are unhappy about the Right to Rent scheme. Chris Norris from the National Landlord Association explains: “It’s important to remember that landlords are neither immigration experts nor border agents… The Right to Rent scheme has placed an additional cost on an already pressurised sector”.
The Guardian documents that 11,300 checks are made each day in England, “but the proven benefits are limited – and the damage is very real”.
The same article partly attributes homelessness among refugees in the UK to the need to wait many weeks for documents to prove the right to a tenancy.
While the additional costs to landlords is another great talking point in the industry. It’s believed that the added work required by landlords to fulfil these checks totals an eye watering £4.7million per year.
We Have the Answer
As part of No Letting Go’s Check In procedures, we can verify the documentation required for the Right to Rent scheme. We can also warrant that these match the tenant’s appearance.
Lisa Williamson, Business Development Director for No Letting Go adds, “we have worked successfully with both letting agents and landlords across the UK since February 2016 to ensure that Right to Rent documentation complies with this legislation. Our bespoke reports clearly confirm that the tenant’s original identification documents appear to be genuine and are a true likeness. With the tenant’s permission we also photograph them holding their photographic ID as further evidence that they are a true representation. This service has proved invaluable to agents and landlords who have not had the opportunity to personally meet the tenant/s prior to their occupation of the property.”
There is no need to let the Right to Rent scheme become a stressor in your letting process. Avoid the fines and the hassle by using No Letting Go. Explore our full list of services here.