2016 Right to rent checks – when do they apply?

Between getting your property fitted out, finding the right tenants, and arranging the right agreement, leasing your house can be a tricky business.

Procedures are time consuming and dull, but play an important part in protecting both you and your tenants from legal and financial difficulties.

In our last blog, we looked at the changes to right to rent legislation which have meant that landlords and agents now have a legal obligation to carry out citizenship checks on all new tenants.

With fines of up to £3,000, the right to rent scheme is worth looking into. Here we go over what type of tenancies the new rules apply to, and which tenants need to be checked.

So, what type of tenancies fall under the new act?

The new act applies to residential rental agreements including:

  • Tenancies and sub-tenancies
  • Leases of less than 7 years and sub-leases
  • Licences

Who should I check?

Landlords and agents must check ALL tenants who are over 18 and using the property as their primary home. Checking only the lead tenant or those named on the tenancy agreement won’t cover you.

The only exemptions are tenants who are residents of:

  • Social housing
  • Student accommodation
  • Care homes and hospices
  • Accommodation arranged by a local authority or NHS body
  • Tied accommodation
  • Long lease agreement

Any landlord with tenants who will be signing on to a residential agreement outside of these exemptions will need to prove they have checked their right to rent.

Proving you have carried out the necessary check is as simple as making a copy of their documentation and keeping it on record for the duration of their tenancy, plus a year afterword. It’s a simple change, but a worthwhile one.

Our next blog will look in more detail at how to carry out a full check, to ensure you and your tenants are fully covered.

For more information about how Hamilton Bower can help you take the stress out of letting your property, get in touch.

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