Right To Rent Checks: What Landlords Should Know

Right to rent checks? Are those really important? Yes! And you’re about to find out why.

Right to rent checks are conducted by a landlord on tenants to be sure a proposed tenant has the right to live in the UK.

But why does a landlord need to check that a tenant has the right to rent in the UK?

Because it’s a requirement. The 2014 Immigration Act required landlords in England to check to see if prospective tenants have the “right to rent” property in the UK.

When the COVID pandemic hit, in-person checks were halted, even though landlords in England are still required to conduct the checks online (There are plans to revert to in-person checks from this September- 2021).

However, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are currently exempt from this regulation.

How To Conduct a Check
  • Examine the proposed tenant’s original documents
  • If your tenant has a ‘share code,’ you can check their right to rent online
What Exactly Do You Do?
  • As a landlord, you should check if potential tenants have the legal right to rent in the United Kingdom by inspecting some documents (theirs) in their presence.
You Should Ensure That:
  • The documents are originals
  • The documents belong to the tenant
  • The photos on the documents are those of the tenant
  • The dates of birth are the same in all the documents (if there is a change of name due to marital status, ensure there are documents to show this)
  • Their permission to stay in the UK has not expired
  • You should keep copies of these documents as well.
When Do You Do It?
  • This should be done before the tenant moves into the rental property.
right to rent checks
Unsplash/ Sigmund

If the Home Office discovers that you rented out your property to a tenant without performing the required check, you could face a fine or even prison time! It’s best to do the needful.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

This blog post is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice.