Updates to the ‘Right to Rent’ checks

There have been recent changes to the “Right to Rent” checks in England, which landlords need to be aware of.

Since 2015, the ‘Right to Rent’ scheme requires all landlords in England complete an immigration check on prospective tenants to ensure they have the right to be in the United Kingdom. Any landlord letting a property to someone who does not have this right can be issued a civil penalty, unless they can show they completed the necessary checks thereby giving them a statutory excuse against penalty.
Changes to the scheme came into force on 2 November 2020 and amend the requirements a landlord must comply with in order to obtain a statutory excuse. The changes include;

    • adding different types of documentation that are acceptable under the scheme
    • introduces a Home Office online system which can be used to establish prospective tenants’ eligibility to rent in the UK. The online system is due to be up and running on 25 November 2020.

A new code of practice on the right to rent civil penalty scheme for landlords has been published, along with a revised Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks. These are available on the government website. We recommend landlords take the time to familiarise themselves with the updates.

If you require any advice on the right to rent checks, or on landlord and tenant matters in general, please email Fiona Hannaford or call us 01803 403403.

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