Right to rent checks – a quick guide for landlords

Why


It is a criminal offence for a landlord to allow a person who does not have a ‘right to rent’ to occupy premises in England. If a landlord does allow a person to occupy who doesn’t have a right to rent, they may be liable to a fine of up to £3,000 per adult in occupation.


Who


Applies to most types of occupation such as a tenancy or licence where the occupation is:


- for residential use, and
- for one or more adult occupier (18 years or over), and
- it is to be the occupiers only or main home, and
- for the payment of rent, and
- not excluded


The provisions of the legislation apply regardless of how well or how long a landlord has known the occupier who they are providing accommodation for.


What and When


1. Conduct initial right to rent checks before authorising an adult to occupy rented accommodation;

2. Conduct follow-up checks at the appropriate date if initial checks indicate that an occupier has a time-limited right to rent, and;

3. Make a report to the Home Office if follow-up checks indicate that an occupier no longer has the right to rent.


In the vast majority of cases landlords will only need to perform step 1 – initial right to rent checks. Steps 2 and 3 are only required if a prospective tenant is found to have a time-limited right to rent.


Further Reading


A short guide on right to rent


Check your tenant’s right to rent


Right to Rent Document Checks: a User Guide


Copying Right to Rent Documents: Landlord’s Obligations

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