As a landlord or leasing agent, it is your legal obligation to verify the immigration status of all adults who will be living on the property before the lease begins. This includes tenants, subrenters, and paying guests. The Home Office and UK Border Agency have worked together to provide guidance on the right to rent checks that must be carried out before the start of the lease. It is important to note that these checks are mandatory, even if you are renting to a family member or friend. The Home Office has recently announced significant fines for landlords who do not enforce the right to rent controls.
These fines, which will take effect in early 2024, represent what the Home Office describes as the biggest reorganization of civil penalties since checks were first introduced and will include charges of up to £20,000 in the event of a repeat offence. It is essential for landlords to control the right to rent of all potential tenants, regardless of their nationality, and avoid accusations of discrimination. We continue to be part of the Home Office's landlord advisory panel with the aim of ensuring that tenants, landlords and agents have security as soon as possible on the eve of Brexit. When renting property in England, landlords now have a legal responsibility to check the applicant's immigration status and ensure that they avoid illegal discrimination against potential tenants. All tenants who apply for a lease in the private rental sector must be included in the controls of the right to rent. The plan directs landlords to obtain, check and record the required documentation from all adults who intend to occupy their property.
If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, they must check in 28 days before the start of the tenancy. Instead, the Ministry of Interior requires that landlords try to verify documents as best they can. It remains essential to carry out and document controls in accordance with the Code of Good Practice on illegal immigrants and private rental housing. In conclusion, it is important for landlords and leasing agents to understand their legal obligations when it comes to verifying immigration status. All adults must be checked for right to rent before the start of the lease, regardless of whether or not they appear on the lease. Landlords are subject to significant fines if controls are not enforced, or if leases begin with tenants who do not comply with the controls.