If you're looking to rent a property in the UK, you must prove your right to rent. This is done through a process called a right to rent check. This occurs when a potential adult occupant of a rental property shows their identity documents in person to the landlord or leasing agent. The acceptable documents that a tenant can use to prove their identity and their right to rent depend on their nationality. The occupancy of a rental property is conditional on all adult occupants demonstrating a valid rental right before the start date of the lease.
If an adult occupant fails to submit their original documents showing a valid rental right, all occupants may be denied access to the rental property until this requirement is met. If the tenant has an unlimited right to rent, the verification can be done at any time before the start of the agreement. To obtain a limited-time rental right, the verification must be carried out no more than 28 days before the start of the contract. If it's not practical to check the documents before agreeing to the tenancy, you can accept a lease in principle, but you don't have to confirm it until you've checked their documents. British citizens must present an identity document, such as a driver's license, and an original UK birth certificate. Other documents, such as recent utility bills and bank statements in your name, can support your request.
If your passport or biometric immigration document has been stolen, you can use as proof of your right to rent a letter from a UK police confirming that you have been the victim of a crime and that you have reported your passport stolen, including the crime reference number, which was issued within the last three months. If you don't have any documents because you're waiting for an immigration decision from the Home Office, ask the landlord to request a “right to rent” check from the Home Office. They should respond within 2 business days. You can use your passport or an immigration document to prove your right to rent if you show that you have permission from the Home Office to be in the UK. The University will not deliver letters to landlords confirming their immigration status. Under the “right to rent” rules, the landlord is responsible for carrying out controls.
We hope that the failure or refusal to provide documentation will result in you being denied the opportunity to rent accommodation by the owner. They will be able to consult the real-time system of the Ministry of Interior to generate their decision on the right to rent without needing any other documentation. Your landlord can only evict you without a court order if no person living in your home has the right to rent. You are not required to prove your right to rent if you are staying in a shelter or hostel, as they are exempt from this regime. Check with the Home Office if the tenant is a Commonwealth citizen but does not have the correct documents; they may still have permission to stay in Britain. If a landlord is found renting out property to someone who has no right to rent, they can be penalized with a civil penalty of up to £3000 per tenant. If you plan on proving your right to rent by presenting documents from list A or B, it's best that you have all relevant documents ready before beginning your search for accommodation. Once it's established that manual verification of your right to rent is necessary, you must ask for original documents from tenants showing they can live in Britain.
The Homeowners Check Service will respond via email within 2 business days with either a “yes” or “no” answer. However, this doesn't negate having to review tenant's documents in person once arriving in Britain. If they believe they have unlimited permission but cannot submit any of these documents, they can also establish an unlimited right by presenting two other documents from Home Office's list.