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Important information for Landlords - Right to Rent

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Published: 17/02/2016   Last Updated: 17/10/2016  

From the 1st February 2016 the Government’s Right to Rent scheme was introduced in England. This means it is now the landlord’s legal responsibility to carry out checks to ensure that all adult tenants, occupiers or lodgers have the legal right to rent in the UK for new tenancies. Landlords who fail to make checks are at risk of a potential penalty of up to £3000 per tenant.

The basic principle is that a landlord may not allow an adult to occupy a property under a residential tenancy agreement unless they satisfy one of three criteria:
The adult is a British Citizen; or
The adult is an EEA or Swiss National; or
The adult has a right to rent in the UK.

How to make a check:
1)      Check which adults will live at your property as their only or main home
2)      See the original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK
3)      Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant, with the tenant present
4)      Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check

If a tenant has a limited time remaining in the UK, you must check these documents again to ensure their right to rent has been extended. Follow up checks must be carried out just before the expiry of the date or 12 months after the original check, whichever is the later. If you find out your tenant no longer has the right to rent in the UK, you must report it to the Home Office.

For more information and an acceptable list of original documents please visit:

As a professional letting agency, we will ensure these checks are carried out for all new tenancies on your behalf.