*UPDATED FOR NEW LEGISLATION STARTING 1ST JULY 2021*
Landlords are required by law to check that their tenant or lodger can legally rent their residential property in England.
Here’s a quick guide for what you need to do. Although onerous, it’s really not difficult!
- Check ALL tenants over the age of 18, whether they are named on the tenancy agreement or not.
- Obtain a copy of their original documents confirming that they have the right to live in the UK. You can either ask them to send these to you, take a copy while in their presence or, for non-British Citizens, use the government website to gather and check the documents for you. If they use the government website, your tenant will give you a share code which you can use to view their documents here.
- If you’ve gathered the document yourself, ensure you’ve checked to see if the match the required criteria (see the landlords guide link below).
- Once you’ve checked and got a copy of their original documents, you finally need to perform an in-person check to confirm the original document is the same as you have on file, that they have it is in their possession and it is the person you’re checking.
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 access the Governments ‘Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks’
- Click here to access the Governments ‘View a tenant’s right to rent in England’
- 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’
- Click here to view the Home Office’s guide to ‘checking immigration documents’
For further information, contact the government landlord helpline on 0300 069 9799