As a landlord or leasing agent, it is essential to verify the immigration status of anyone over 18 who pays to use your property as a primary home. This includes tenants, subrenters, and paying guests. This process is known as a “right to rent check” and must be carried out and documented in accordance with the Code of Good Practice on Illegal Immigrants and Private Rented Housing. When verifying immigration status, you must take note of how long the individual is allowed to stay in the country and then conduct a follow-up check before that time runs out.
To do this, you must use the Ministry of the Interior's online portal and check the documents submitted by the potential tenant. It is important to not discriminate and only check the immigration status of those you consider to be non-British citizens. As part of the post-Brexit transition agreement, citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein must now submit to immigration controls by right to rent. If you are a landlord who does not want to be involved in this process, Gro Residential Management can process your right to rent checks for you.
This aims to ensure that all private tenants in England have the “right” to rent the property from the landlord. According to ARLA guidelines, citizens of the EEA, EU or Switzerland must prove their immigration status in the UK and can no longer rely on their passport or national identity card. Therefore, it is important to carry out these checks in the presence of the tenant and keep a record of all documents checked. The landlord or leasing agent will use your participation code or documents to verify that you have the right to rent. We have worked with the Home Office and UK Border Agency to answer questions that landlords and leasing agents often ask about right to rent. The highest fines, which will take effect in early 2024, represent what the Home Office describes as the biggest reorganization of civil sanctions since controls were introduced and will include charges of up to £20,000 in case of recidivism. 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.
Your leasing agent and some landlords may also check your credit history to see if you have had trouble paying bills in the past.