It is illegal to discriminate against potential tenants based on their place of origin. Landlords must check the right to rent of all potential tenants before renting out a property in England. The Home Office has created a Right to Rent scheme that requires landlords to verify the immigration status of all potential tenants. The Right to Rent scheme requires landlords to verify that a potential tenant of a private rental home has a legal right to be in the UK.
This means that before you can rent a home in England, a rental agent must verify your identity before renting the property. Verifying the immigration status of a potential tenant is a legal requirement for all landlords. If you have a digital Certificate of Application (CoA), you can use the GOV. UK online service to “see a tenant's right to rent in England” to check their right to rent.
If you only have a non-digital CoA, you must check it through the Landlord Verification Service to get a Positive Right to Rent Notice (PRRN) confirming your right to rent. You must make a copy of the CoA and the PRRN and keep it as evidence against liability for civil penalty. The landlord is required by law to carry out a follow-up check if you had a limited-time right to be in the UK when the initial check was carried out. You must comply with your landlord's request for a follow-up check. The Homeowners Check Service will respond to the landlord via email within 2 business days, with a clear “yes” or “no” answer. An affirmative answer means that you have the right to rent in the UK.
The details of your immigration status or the requests you have made will not be revealed. Applicants who are disqualified from renting in the UK are not allowed to occupy rental property. The plan instructs landlords to obtain, verify, and record the required documentation from all adults who intend to occupy their property. These checks are necessary to verify both the identity of the tenants and their immigration status. A full list of documents that can be used to satisfy a verification of the right to rent is detailed at the front of this document.
If an applicant is based on a List B identification, the verification must take place within 28 days prior to the start of the lease. If the landlord discovers that the tenants are not legally allowed to rent, the Ministry of Interior will send him a notice of disqualification and he must take steps to end the lease. If you don't report your tenant, if you find that you can no longer legally rent a property in England after carrying out a follow-up check, you could result in a fine or a prison sentence of up to 5 years. If a person must enter into a lease before collecting their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), they can accept the short-lived vignette on their passport as proof of their right to rent. It goes without saying; however, landlords cannot choose who they will control the right to rent. If you sublease the property you are renting, it will be your responsibility to carry out a verification of the right to rent and keep evidence of this before the occupant moves in. Likewise, while landlords can encourage potential tenants to use the online service, it's not possible to insist that a person prove their right to rent in this way.
If you have a biometric residence permit, biometric residence card, are enrolled in the EU Settlement Plan or have been digitally granted status through an electronic visa, you can only prove your right to rent through the online check service. Scanned copies or photos of originals are not considered sufficient, so it's important to physically check original documents in person. Landlords cannot discriminate against those who choose to prove their right to rent using documents from an acceptable list; doing so is illegal. It is important for landlords and tenants alike understand what is required by law when it comes to verifying someone's right to rent.