Right to Rent document checklist. If you’re still in doubt read on…

Right to Rent document checklistAlthough Right to Rent checks have been around for a couple of years now as part of The Immigration Act 2014, surprisingly, they are still falling on deaf ears of some UK landlords.

Government statistics say that 11,300 Right to Rent checks are now undertaken daily, and although frowned upon by many when they were first launched back in December 2014, they are now viewed as being a positive line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit tenants by renting out substandard or unsafe accommodation.

Put simply, if a tenant does not have the right to rent in the UK, a tenancy agreement must not be offered. If a tenancy is offered without a right to rent check, a civil penalty of up to £3,000 can be imposed if a landlord is found to be renting out a property to someone who is in the UK illegally.

Right to Rent with limited time visas

Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to know when a tenant’s visa is coming up for renewal or even whether it is due to expire, as one of our landlords Gautam Nowlakha explains.

“As an owner of three rental properties, I consider myself to be a very responsible and law-abiding landlord, so when one of my tenant’s visas was coming to an end and they were stalling when I asked to see proof of their extension, I grew somewhat suspicious.

“Although I was in constant communication with my tenants, when I couldn’t get any further, the team at  lettingaproperty.com stepped in to help out.  Fortunately, the tenancy did come to an end and the property was relet very quickly by lettingaproperty.com.

What are the landlords responsibilities?

For the avoidance of doubt, landlords must:

  • Check all adult tenants who 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 original documents with the tenant present and ensure they are valid
  • Make and keep copies of the original documents and record the date the check was made
  • Conduct follow up checks at the appropriate date if the initial check indicates a time-limited Right to Rent
  • Make a report to the Home Office if follow-up checks indicate that an occupier no longer has the Right to Rent

What documents are acceptable for Right to Rent checks?

Acceptable documents that a tenant can show their landlord include:

  • A UK passport
  • An EU/EEA passport or identity card, permanent residence card
  • A travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
  • A visa if applicable
  • A Home Office immigration status document or a certificate of registration/naturalisation as a British citizen.

Here’s a a full list of valid documents that are acceptable.

When should I carry out the Right to Rent checks?

For landlords using the lettingaproperty.com service to find a tenant, all tenants are asked to provide evidence of original documentation at time of arranging an appointment to view the property.  They are to present this documentation to the landlord at the property.

This will assist in reducing any time wasted proceeding with an application where the tenant does not have the right to rent a property in the UK.

Where can I get help with Right to Rent checks?

Sign up to our landlord newsletter and get our Right to Rent document checklist which should be completed and signed by the tenant and landlord to confirm the checks have been carried out.

More information about how to carry out a right to rent check is available online at www.gov.uk including eligibility for a free online Home Office checking service to confirm whether someone has a right to rent.

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11 Responses to “Right to Rent document checklist. If you’re still in doubt read on…”

  1. Mashman May 7, 2017 at 9:27 pm #

    Please may have a right to rent document checklist

  2. Tony Bright May 6, 2017 at 10:24 pm #

    Very helpful article. Please can you send me a copy of the Right to Rent document checklist.
    Many thanks.

  3. C.Whitehorn May 6, 2017 at 10:55 am #

    I have a copy of EU passport, but now the date is about to expire. Is it automatically renewed or should I have cause for concern ?

  4. David Pollard May 6, 2017 at 10:35 am #

    Very helpful article. Please can you send me a copy of the Right to Rent document checklist.

    Many thanks

  5. Rob Graham May 6, 2017 at 8:31 am #

    Right to rent form please

  6. Susan Jannati May 6, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    When renting to an EU tenent do we need to see there visa too or is there passport enough proof .

  7. Mr Farrington May 6, 2017 at 7:55 am #

    Is this requirement retrospective and/or does it include tenancies that ‘roll’?

    • Jonathan Daines May 6, 2017 at 10:18 am #

      Mr Farrington – Right to Rent checks are only required for tenancies that started from 1st February 2016 anywhere in England apart from in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton where the roll out was the 1st December 2014. You do not need to carry out a right to rent check on a tenant where the tenancies started prior to these dates including renewals as long as it is the same tenant name on the agreement.

  8. Emsal May 6, 2017 at 7:47 am #

    Please may have a right to rent document checklist

    • Greg uCurtis May 7, 2017 at 6:44 am #

      Your articles are always of interest and value. Much appreciated. Thank you. Greg Curtis

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