As of the 1st February 2016, the ‘Right to Rent’ legislation will come into effect, meaning that as of Monday, it now becomes the responsibility of all landlords to ensure the eligibility of their tenants. So what exactly do you need to know in order to comply with these new regulations? To help you out, we have listed below, as instructed by Home Office, the steps you need to take to properly carry out the checks, as well as the kinds of documents that are accepted.

How To Make A Check

1. Check which adults will live at your property as their only or main home.
2. See the original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK.
3. Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant, with the tenant present.
4. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

Now it is important to know that right to rent checks last for a minimum of 12 months.  This is regardless of how long the tenant’s actual right to reside has left. For example, if you have a tenant renting your property for 24 months and they are residing in the UK on a Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) 2 year visa, you will need to conduct another check after 12 months to again  prove their eligibility. However, if they only rent for 12 months and there is no renewal, you will not need to conduct a check again.
With individuals who have the permanent right to rent, for example UK citizens, you only need to conduct a check once before the tenancy starts.
However, those individuals whose right to rent time is limited, it falls on the landlord to keep a note of when that time expires and then check within 28 days of that tenants right to rent expiring. For example, if you conduct an original check and notice your tenant’s visa expires midway through the tenancy, it is your responsibility to check 28 days prior to that date and make further arrangements.

Acceptable Original Documents

- A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British citizen, or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the ‘right of abode’ in the UK.

- A passport or national identity card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
- A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
- A ‘permanent’ residence, ‘indefinite leave to remain’, ‘indefinite leave to enter’ or ‘no time limit’ card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.
- A passport or other ‘travel document’ (current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is either ‘exempt from immigration control’, has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, has the ‘right of abode’ in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.
- An immigration status document (current or expired) containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

Please know that if you do not comply with these laws or have the satisfactory evidence that your tenants are eligible to rent your property, you will be facing a fine of up to £3000.00. All the above information is aimed to help you carry out these checks to avoid these risks. If you do have any further questions or concerns, or are in doubt, please do not hesitate to contact PropertyTime where we will be able to talk you through the process and how we aim to ensure your tenant has the right to rent.


Emma Doherty and Ken Ince.