Right to rent guide

All landlords are now required by law to check that their tenant or lodger can legally rent their residential property in England.

We have heard from a lot of concerned landlords, worried that they’ll get it wrong. Here’s a quick guide for what you need to do. Although onerous, it’s really not difficult!

You must:

Check ALL tenants over the age of 18, whether they are named on the tenancy agreement or not.

See their original documents confirming that they have the right to live in the UK.

Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant. Note: you must see the documents and the holder together in person.

Complete these checks before the start of the tenancy (maximum of 28 days before).

Keep copies of the documents, recording the date that you made the check, and keep these copies for 12 months after the end of the tenancy.

If your tenant has the right to remain in the UK for a limited time, you must recheck the documents. Depending on which is the longest, you must perform this check either before the expiry date of their right to stay or 12 months after your previous check.

You must inform the Home Office if you find that your tenant does not have the right to live in the UK and you must not let to them.

Here are some useful links:

Click here to view the Home Office’s guide to checking immigration documents.
Click here to access the government’s right to rent user guide.
Click here to access the online tool to identify the verification documents required.

For further information, contact the government landlord helpline on 0300 069 9799

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