Right to rent

Everything you need to know about right to rent.

What is Right to Rent?

Right to Rent is the result of the Immigration Bill of 2015. This piece of legislation that makes checking the immigration status of tenants mandatory for landlords. Therefore, Right to Rent is equally as important for landlords as it is tenants.

It was designed to stop illegal immigrants from renting accommodation in England, with all tenants having to prove they are in the UK legally before beginning a tenancy.

How does a Right to Rent check work?

Any prospective tenants aged 18 and over need to show their identity documents in person to a landlord.The landlord is then required to make a copy of the documents and keep a record of the check being completed.

If a tenant has a time-limited right to rent, such as a visa or Biometric Residency Permit with an expiry date, all checks must be completed within 28 days of the tenancy start date. The visa must also be valid for the proposed start date of the tenancy.

What are the landlord’s responsibilities?

  • Check every adult tenant who will be on the AST (Assured Tenancy Short-hold) contract
  • Require that tenants produce original documents showing they have the right to be in the UK
  • Make sure the tenant physically presents original documents that are valid
  • Make and keep copies of the original documents and record when the check was completed
  • If necessary, conduct follow-up checks (eg, repeat the check when a tenant’s visa expires)
  • If proceeding follow-up checks reveal that a tenant no longer has a valid ‘Right to Rent’, landlords are legally obliged to report that person to the Home Office.

Which documents do tenants need?

As a tenant, you are responsible for showing proof that you have the ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK and must provide valid documentation – which varies depending on your nationality – to the landlord or letting agent.

Acceptable documents for EEA/Swiss citizens include:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid EEA/Swiss national ID card
  • Valid UK driving licence and original UK birth certificate (British citizens only)

Countries in the EEA: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden & the UK

If you are based outside of the EEA/Swiss, you will need a combination of passport and a valid visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

What happens if you don’t have the documents?

Renting a property in the UK is on the condition of providing a valid Right to Rent before the tenancy start date for anyone over the age of 18.

If you fail to provide valid documentation, the landlord has the right to refuse you access to the property until they have received the correct documents.

Where is there more

For more information on Right to Rent, head over the Home Office website. You can also contact Mashroom directly with any further questions

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