All You Need To Know About Right To Rent

All You Need To Know About Right To Rent

Getting a tenant to move into a rental property is the dream of many landlords because it means income. However, apart from the vetting process, renting to a new tenant comes with some legal obligations, and you as a landlord must keep all of them. One of them is the Right to Rent Scheme.

What is Right to Rent, and why should you not fail to comply with it? This article provides all you need to know about Right to Rent.

What Is Right To Rent?

Right to Rent was introduced with the Immigration Act 2014 and was supposed to strengthen immigration laws. The scheme obligates landlords to ensure they accept only tenants legally allowed to live in the UK. However, the scheme only applies in England.

The scheme makes it more difficult for illegal residents to rent property as landlords have to verify their tenants' immigration status.

While there has been controversy surrounding the scheme as opposers contend it can increase the instances of discrimination, the scheme is in place, and you have to comply with it. The Immigration Act of 2016 goes further by making it a criminal offence to rent property knowingly to an illegal resident.

This brings up the question of who has the right to rent property in the UK.

rental properties

Who Can You Rent Your Property To Legally In The UK?

As far as the government is concerned, you can rent your property to people in this category:
British citizens
People who have work or student visas
People with settle status or have indefinite permission to stay in the UK
People with refugee status or have been granted humanitarian protection
People with the authorization from the Home Office to rent a property for a limited time

As a landlord, you must carry out the Right to Rent test on everybody who is going to live on your property and are over 18 years, regardless of whether they are the one on the rent contract or not. This applies even when you are renting to friends or family. Children are excluded from this check.

If your tenant sublets your property, they are responsible for carrying out Right to Rent checkson the tenant. The same rule applies if you give out a portion of your home to short-term lodgers.

For landlords that rent out through an agent, the agent can carry out right to rent checks. If you do this, you should have it stated in your agreement that the responsibility falls on them to protect yourself from legal liability.
Regardless of who is conducting, Right to Rent checks should be done before entering a tenancy agreement. In the case of tenants with a time-limited right to rent, the landlord must carry out another check if the permission expires while the tenant is still using the property.

Now that you know the importance of Right to Rent, how do you carry out Right to Rent checks?

How To Carry Out Right To Rent Checks

Property owners have two options to conduct Right to Rent checks; manually or through the Home Office online.

To do a manual check, obtain the prospective tenant's (and other occupants') original documentation and check in the presence of the document owners for genuineness, integrity, consistency, validity, etc.

If the landlord deems the documents appropriate, they should record the date of the check and retain copies during the tenancy and at least a year after its expiration. The acceptable documents include UK-issued passports, driver's licenses, evidence of naturalization, etc.
The landlord is not expected to have extensive knowledge of immigration codes while manually carrying out Right to Rent checks. However, the landlord should note inconsistencies and the date of expiry of any documents produced by the tenant.

To conduct a Right to Rent check online, the tenant will have to provide a code that will give access to their immigration records to the landlord. However, this method only works for prospective tenants with immigration status. People in this category include citizens of non-UK origin but have resident permit cards, those with status under the immigration system, etc.


If you too are looking for a property on rent in London and need help with Right to Rent check then get in touch with for more information. Also, visit our website to see the latest listings of property available for rent in and around London. 



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