New Right to Rent regulations

New Right to Rent regulations

7th Jan, 2016

Right to Rent Regulations

On October 20th it was announced that Right to Rent, part of the Government's Immingration Bill, will become a national scheme on February 1st 2016.

This means that all landlords or letting agents working on their behalf in England will now be required to check the immigration status of potential tenants to ensure they have the legal 'right to rent' in the UK.

They'll be able to do so by checking and keeping copies of, prospective tenants' indentity documents.

Legitimate documents include UK passports; European Economic Area passports or identity cards; permenant residence cards or travel documents, showing indefinite leave to remain.

Also accepted as proof of a right of to rent are Home Office immigration status documents or certificates of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

Those landlords or agents that don't carry out immigration checks could be hit with a penality of up to £3,000 per tenant.

In December 2014 a pilot project was launched in the West Midlands areas of Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Key pilot project findings:

The Home Office's evaluation takes the pilot project's first six months (December 1st 2014 - May 31st 2015) into account.

Significant figures:

  • The pilot project identified 109 individuals who were illegally in the UK, 63 of whom were previously unknown to the Home Office
  • The complex cases checking services was required to make 109 decisions during the pilot (94 'yes' 15 'no')
  • There were 13 referrals made for civil penalties and five civil penalties subsequent issued
  • Right to Rent referrals directly accounted for 37 enforcement visits
  • The Right to Rent helpline received 879 calls during pilot project
  • The online Right to Rent tool received 116,701 hits between September 2014 and May 2015

From what we've seen so far, it seems that Right to Rent is largely an additional administration and organisational task rather than one of 'border control' - a concern which has been raised by some parties.

In preparation for February's start date, landlords must make sure their administration processes are in order and that they'll be able to incorporate Right to Rent checks into their existing tenancy process.

As we anticipate that many landlords will be asking their letting agents to carry out Right to Rent checks on their behalf, we've been working on a solution to help. Our staff have undertaken further training and are here to help if you have any queries.

View all posts by Laura Simpson


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