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How to make a Right to Rent check

29 January 2016

Right to rent starts from February 1, 2016Buy to let landlords in England must check any new tenants have the right to rent a home in the country from February 1, 2016.

Landlords and letting agents have to carry out Right to Rent checks within 28 days of the tenants moving into a private rented home.

They cover everyone who will live in the property who is aged 18 or over even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement.

The rules apply even if the tenancy agreement is verbal, not just in writing.

Here’s a checklist of how to carry out the check:

Identify anyone who will live at a buy to let home who is aged 18 years old or more

Examine the original documents that give them leave to live in England in their presence.

Photocopies or other images do not count as original documents.

A list of acceptable documents is included in this Home Office guide

Make sure the documents are genuine and that they are not out of date

Carefully check names, spellings, pictures of the holder and dates of birth.

If any names are different, ask for documents to prove the change, such as marriage certificates or divorce decree nisi.

Also check for tampering or alterations to the documents

Copy the documents and make a note of the date of the Right to Rent check

Copies should be in a format that can’t be edited, such as a photocopy

Copy each page of a passport and any visa or other official document that gives someone the right to live in the UK.

Both sides of a biometric residence permit should be copied.

Keep the copies for the duration of the tenancy plus 12 months

Landlords should check the Right to Rent documents again if the tenant’s right to live in the UK runs out during the tenancy or 12 months after the last check.

Right to Rent laws penalise landlords with fines of up to £3,000 for failing to make checks on new tenants or allowing them to rent a home once their right to rent has expired.

If the tenant’s right to rent has run out, you can evict them and should tell the Home Office

Letting agents can carry out the checks for landlords if they are managing a buy to let home for them.