Landlords – how should you carry out a valid right to rent check?

Landlords – how should you carry out a valid right to rent check?

When leasing out your property there are so many things to consider. Health and safety checks, deposit schemes, guarantors; the list goes on.

Changes to right to rent earlier this year now mean landlords and agents also need to put in place measures to ensure their tenants are legally entitled to rent in the UK.

Over the course of this series, we have looked at what these changes mean, and when they are applicable. Here we look at how it is landlords and agents should be tackling the new checks.

There are a few element to consider so to give you piece of mind, we’ve pulled together some steps as a guide to help you make carrying out your right to rent checks simple.

1. Firstly, it is important to establish who will be using the property as their primary residence, as ALL tenants need to be checked – not just those on the agreement.

2. The next step is to request the relevant documentation from all tenants. This needs to be done within 28 days leading up to the tenancy’s beginning. The documents must be originals, and include:

  • A UK passport or identity card issued by a European Economic Area member state
  • Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave
  • A passport, travel document or UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave
  • A certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British citizen
  • UK driving licences and birth certificates are accepted in conjunction with each other

3. Check that the documents appear genuine, and haven’t been tampered with. Date of births and names should be correct, and any legal changes of name should be backed up with relevant certification.

4. For documents indicating a limited period of residency, make sure you check that the tenancy’s duration is covered within this time.

5. If your tenant doesn’t have the right documentation, you can use the Home Office’s ‘Landlord Checking Service’. If the tenant is able to provide a Home Office reference number, the Home Office can check their status and get back to you within 2 days.

6. Finally, you need to make copies of all the documents. These copies then need to be retained for the whole of the tenancy, and a year afterwards.

With a possible penalty of £3,000, it is an important step for landlords to take when letting their property. However, it is a simple step.

Any reputable letting agent should now offer these checks as standard, so you may decide it is more beneficial to engage an agent. Our comprehensive fully managed service takes care of all checks for you, so you don’t need to worry.

For more information on how we work with landlords, visit the page or get in touch.

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