Right to Rent Guide - What checks do you, as a Landlord, have to do?

5th Jul, 16 Right to Rent Guide - What checks do you, as a Landlord, have to do?

Right to Rent Guide

Right to Rent can seem like a real mine field but as with anything if you have the key facts it doesn’t need to be.  Property Investment Advice has created this handy Right to Rent Guide to help you get those key facts.

So What Is Right to Rent?

This is a set of rules that landlords must ensure all adult tenants have the right to rent in the UK.  It applies to those that are sub-letting and also if you are renting our rooms in your own home.

If these checks are not done a penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant is on the cards so this must be taken seriously.

What are the Right to Rent Checks that I have to do?

First thing to remember here is you must check ALL new tenants who will potentially live in your property as their only or main residence.  It is actually against the law to only check people you think aren’t British citizens as it could be classed as discrimination.

You will need to:

  • See all original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK.  These documents include Passports & Visa’s and Permission documents.  Full details of the documents required, how to check them and a checklist can be downloaded direct from the .gov.uk website by clicking here.
  • You must check all documents are genuine
  • Must make and keep copies of documents and record the date you made the checks.  You must make sure you:
    • Make a copy that can’t be changed
    • For passports copy every page with the expiry date and/or applicants details including endorsements (eg work visa or Certificate of Entitlement to the right of abode in the UK)
    • Copy both sides of biometric residence permits

Do I need to do Further Checks?

You will need to make a further check if your tenant’s right to stay in the UK is going to expire or 12 months after your initial check.  Whichever comes first.  So it is important that you set yourself a reminder to do this as fines are still applicable if you do not.

If the tenant fails these further checks you will need to tell the Home Office and take steps to evict your tenant as per their guidance.

Can I get help?

The good news is there is a little help.  You can use a government tool called the landlords checking service to find out if your tenant is allowed to rent.  This will also highlight the Home Office has the tenants documents and if there are any outstanding cases or appeals against residency.

A local rate government help line is also available on 0300 069 9799 (9am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday).

You can also of course ask an agent to manage your property and carry out these checks on your behalf.

I hope this guide has helped but if you need further help or would like PIA to do these checks for you please feel free to contact me via our website contact page, email directly at bo@propertyinvestmentadvice.co.uk or call on 01795 555704 if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.

Happy property investing and renting.

Written By Bo Ibrahim – Working successfully investing and renting property for himself and his clients.