Right to Rent

February 4, 2016 3:22 pm - Categorised in:

From 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England will have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before they rent out their property (the “right to rent” scheme).

The Immigration Act 2014 prohibits private landlords of residential properties from allowing certain people to occupy their properties based on their immigration status. Landlords will have to check the status of prospective tenants to discover whether they have the right to occupy the premises before granting a tenancy.

Although this transfers an administrative burden to private landlords it is sensible and relatively straightforward for Landlords to check their tenant’s immigration status and to keep records.

However, far more onerous is the requirement that Landlords must also make sure that someone’s right to occupy the premises does not lapse. Some tenants will have a time limited right to remain eg students.

Landlords will need to diarise the date their tenants right to remain expires and check that the date has been extended, if necessary, by a Home Office enquiry and then report to the Home Office if the tenant no longer has the right to remain.

Breaching the prohibition could lead to a civil penalty of up to £3,000 but we have yet to see how the Home Office will monitor Landlords compliance.


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About Ben Bourne

Ben Bourne is one of our directors and works within our Commercial Litigation and Charity Law departments. Ben is a member of the Charity Law Association and has also served on a number of Charity Trustee Boards.

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