Can Landlords Legally Check Existing Tenants' Right to Rent?

Landlords must ensure that they carry out checks on the right to rent in a fair, justifiable and consistent manner. This applies to all potential tenants. It is recommended that people with poor English skills be accompanied and advised by a third person, such as a friend or family member, a board member or a charity worker. You can check people with an unlimited rental right at any time before the start of a tenancy agreement.

You must keep the proof of the check with the date the check was carried out, for the duration of the lease and for at least one year afterwards. No further checks are necessary. A full list of documents that can be used to verify the right to rent is provided on the front of this document. It may not be possible to prove your right to rent using the online billing service in all cases, as not everyone will have an immigration status that can be checked online at this time.

Some tenant search companies offer improved identity verification services for the right to rent, in addition to standard tenant verification, but it is still important to have the original documents present and to keep copies. If the person's right to rent in the UK is only for a limited time, landlords must note down the date when the tenant's right will expire, at which point it will be necessary to further check their residence rights. It is also necessary to check the status of tenants whose right to rent for a limited time expires during the rental period. Landlords must verify the right to rent fairly, justifiably and consistently, regardless of whether they believe the tenant is British, is established in the United Kingdom, or is a person with limited permission to reside in the United Kingdom.

Note must be taken of if and when follow-up checks must be carried out, to ensure that a legal excuse is maintained against the imposition of a sanction. If you have a visa or residence permit for more than one year, landlords must do a follow-up check when your permit ends. Checks can be performed up to 28 days before the start of the lease and must be completed before it begins. Landlords or agents should not enter into a tenancy agreement with a potential tenant until they have completed their right to rent checks.

The responsibility for verifying the right to rent lies with the landlord who rents out the property, their agent, or an occupying landlord who rents it out to tenants. If you review this document correctly, as described here and in the landlord's guide to checking the right to rent, you'll establish a legal excuse for a limited time not to be responsible for a civil penalty and you'll need to double-check it before that excuse expires. If you have a valid British or Irish passport, or an Irish passport card, you and your landlord or leasing agent can choose to use an IDVT through an IDSP service in order to verify that it belongs to you and that it is valid. To prove their right to rent, tenants can no longer rely on an EEA passport or national identity card, as this only confirms their nationality.

Landlords who rent vacation accommodation are not required to verify the right to rent, but it would be wise for them to protect themselves from accusations that they are doing so in order to avoid rules on this matter.

Alexa Frisino
Alexa Frisino

Subtly charming web junkie. Incurable zombie nerd. Friendly bacon enthusiast. Avid food lover. Avid social media fan.

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