When a tenant's immigration status may change, it is essential for landlords and agents to verify the right to rent before the start date of the lease agreement. The Home Office has implemented hefty fines, up to £20,000, for those who violate the regulations. If the tenant has a limited-time rental right, follow-up checks must be carried out within a certain period, depending on the tenant's circumstances. The law is designed to make it difficult for illegal immigrants to live and work in the UK.
It is essential to carry out controls and document them in accordance with the Code of Practice on illegal immigrants and private rented housing. Landlords can check online by accessing the Home Office's online service “View a tenant's right to rent in England” on GOV. Those who have left Ukraine due to war have the right to rent as long as they have permission from the Home Office to stay in the UK. The Home Office's landlord advisory panel works to ensure that tenants, landlords and agents have security as soon as possible before Brexit. If a visa or residence permit expires within one year, the landlord must do a follow-up check after one year if they are still living there.
The landlord can only evict without a court order if no person living in the home has the right to rent. Changes in eligibility to rent based on nationality may occur, but any future changes cannot be retroactive. If the tenant is entitled to rent for a limited time, the verification must be done 28 days before the rental start date. According to the Government's “new immigration plan”, some people may have their immigration status digitally issued and not have any physical documents that prove their right to rent.
They can use the Home Office's online service to demonstrate their right to rent and landlords should not discriminate against those who can only demonstrate their right to rent digitally. If their permission to stay in the UK has a time limit, the owner must carry out another check within one year or when their visa ends, whichever is later. The Home Office and UK Border Agency have answered questions that landlords and leasing agents often ask about the right to rent.