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The Right to Rent Scheme

The Right to Rent Scheme

The Home Office has announced that the Right to Rent Scheme, which has been trialled in the West Midlands since last December, will be extended across England from 1st February 2016.

Although it has been reported that the trial was ineffective, all private landlords in England, or their agents will be responsible for checking that all new tenants have the right to reside in the UK before renting to them, and the landlord or agent must ensure that they are not being unlawfully discriminative when doing so. The checks are to include those sub-letting or taking in lodgers. Failure to do could result in a fine or prison sentence of up to five years.

If a potential tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, you can conduct a check on that person’s ‘right to rent’ via the Landlords Checking Service.

The following steps need to be adhered to when making a Right to Rent check.:

  • Check which adult tenants will live in the property as their only or main home.
  • Ask tenants for the original documents that show they have the right to be in the UK.
  • Check the documents are valid with the tenant present.
  • Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

Landlords or their agents should check and take copies of the following in order to comply

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

Woolley and Wallis will be working in conjunction with our referencing company, Rent4Sure, who have recently introduced a service called ‘Know Your Customer’ which helps us to verify the applicant’s identity in addition to the full reference.

A summary of the guidance available for Landlords when carrying out a Right to Rent check from the Home Office can be found at the link below:

Rebecca Hutton
Written by

Rebecca Hutton

Lettings Negotiator

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