Right To Rent checks became law in England on 1st February 2016. Landlords, including those who sub-let or have lodgers, need to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ or face a fine of up to £3,000 per occupier.
Before the start of a new tenancy, you must check all tenants aged 18 and over, even if:
- they’re not named on the tenancy agreement
- there’s no tenancy agreement
- the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing
Vetting prospective tenants to ensure they have the right to rent means carefully checking tenants documents before any tenancy agreement is signed. This includes the need to see identity documents for all new tenants such as:
- UK passport
- European Economic Area passport or identity card
- Permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
- Home Office immigration status document or a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen
Keep Clear Records
Copies of all the above documents must be taken and kept on file, as required by law. You should also make sure you have taken note of the date the checks were done, who by and details of any questions asked and the answers given.
Do Your Due Diligence
If you think anything is suspicious about the tenancy checks then you need to take proper precautions. Although you are not expected to know whether a document is forged or a tenant is acting without good intent, be sensible. Make sure any documents are of a good standard and nothing is obviously wrong with them. Do think about the type of property your tenant is renting. Does it fit their needs or does something feel off? Such as single man working in London looking to rent a remote six bed country property.
If you are concerned about undertaking these checks give our lettings team a call who will be happy to help you.