Residential Landlords: Does your new Tenant have the “Right to Rent”?

Residential Landlords: Does your new Tenant have the “Right to Rent”?

As of 1 February 2016, residential landlords entering into a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement are now obliged to undertake various checks to ensure their tenant has the “right to rent” their property.

The Government is in the process of clamping down on the immigration system in this country. As part of that clamp down, residential landlord may now only let a property to a tenant who is authorised to live, work or study in this country. With the various changes enacted through the Deregulation Act 2015, which came into force on 1 October 2015, it is seemingly becoming more and more problematic to let a private property.

For tenancies entered into after 1 February 2016, a landlord will have to begin their checks at least 28 days before the tenancy is due to commence. Landlords falling foul of the new law could be penalised by up to £3,000 per tenant. A property with multiple-occupancy could therefore have a ruinous effect on that valuable rental stream that a landlord has been relying upon.

The landlord’s checklist:

The Home Office has published a 39-page dossier on the checks that a landlord ought to  carry out, and provides useful examples of letters that the landlord can send if they are in any doubt.

The dossier refers to various types of documents, which will be treated as acceptable identification. One document must be obtained verifying the identity of the tenant, such as a passport or EEA residence/identity card. In addition, the landlord must also verify the tenant’s entitlement to reside in the UK.

If you are in any doubt as to your new tenant, or for a comprehensive look at what is required, you would be best advised to review the dossier before you let out your property, which can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-document-checks-a-user-guide. Alternatively, seek advice from a Solicitor.

For more information on this or any other legal matter please contact Jak Ward on 01332 225426.