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Right to Rent | What Landlords Need to Check For

07th March 2017

RIGHT TO RENT

ADV. /rait tu rent/

Right to Rent refers to a system of new checks to confirm the residential status of an applicant in the U.K.

The Right to Rent scheme – which requires landlords or agents to check ID of all prospective adult occupiers – was rolled out in parts of the West Midlands on 1 December 2014 and across the rest of England on 1 February 2016.

The Home Office announced on 2 November 2016 that the date for new offences under Immigration Act 2016 relevant to the private rented sector in England, will come into force from 1 December 2016.

The new measures follow the introduction of civil penalties created under Immigration Act 2014 and aim to make it easier for private landlords to evict illegal migrant tenants and creates new criminal offences for rogue landlords and agents who knowingly, or with reasonable cause to believe, let to illegal migrants.

Instructed agents will carry out the necessary Right to Rent checks on your behalf as part of the application and referencing process and the Home Office outline specific guidance for landlords managing their own properties relating to the stringent checks.

Checks should be carried out prior to agreement to let the property and anyone over the age of 18 who intends to live at the property as their main home will need to be checked.

Acceptable forms of identification, such as a passport or national identity card, visa or permits, must be original and carefully examined for accuracy, including names and dates of birth, the condition of the document, and also the dates that the applicants are entitled to remain in the UK haven’t expired.

A second ‘list B’ document should also be obtained, which includes an original birth certificate, driving licence, HM Forces card or original letter from an official, recognised body.

Complete copies of all documents should be made, and the dates the copies made recorded. These copies should be retained for the duration of the tenancy and a period of twelve months after the tenants have vacated.

It’s important to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 also.

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