Right to rent immigration checks to be rolled out across England from 1 February 2016

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - Home Office

The Home Office have today (20 October) announced that new right to rent checks will be rolled-out across England from 1 February 2016.

From that date, all private landlords in England will have to check whether tenants have the right to be in the UK.

According to the Home Office, the need to make right to rent checks will apply if you:

  • are a private landlord;
  • have a lodger;
  • are sub-letting a property; or
  • are an agent appointed by a landlord to make right to rent checks.

So it seems even homeowners taking in a lodger under the government’s rent a room scheme will be caught be the new requirements.

In future, private landlords will have to see original documents that show that prospective tenants have the right to be in the UK. They will have to check the documents are valid and retain copies.

Acceptable documents include:

  • UK passport;
  • EEA passport or identity card;
  • permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain;
  • Home Office immigration status document; or
  • certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

A full list of the acceptable documents is available here.

For tenants with an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, the landlord will be able to request a Home Office right to rent check.

Landlords who don’t carry out the necessary checks could be fined up to £3,000 if they rent out a property to someone who’s in the UK illegally.

According to the Home Office, right to rent checks are being introduced as part of the government’s ongoing reforms to the immigration system.

More information about the new arrangements for conducting right to rent checks is available here.

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