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.
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.
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:
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).
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.