Do Landlords Have to Do a Right to Rent Check?

Issuing a verification of the right to rent is a legal requirement for landlords in the UK and must be made to all potential tenants. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that the tenant who rents to you has the “right to rent” in the UK. This guide informs the landlord, leasing agent or homeowner about how to check the right to rent when renting privately rented accommodation. If a tenant has no right to rent, their request must be denied.

The landlord or leasing agent will ask you to show your immigration documents or passport when you start or renew your lease. You will also be asked to see the documents of any other adult living with you. They do this to prove that you have the right to live in the UK and to rent; this is called a “right to rent check”. The landlord verification service can also be used for tenants who have filed an appeal regarding their immigration status or who have submitted their documents to the Ministry of the Interior.

Check with the Home Office if the tenant is a Commonwealth citizen but doesn't have the correct documents; they may still have the right to rent in the UK. If you don't have any documents because you're waiting for an immigration decision from the Home Office, ask the landlord to ask the Home Office for a “right to rent” check. You can't prove a person's right to rent because you suspect that they may not be allowed to rent in the United Kingdom. If you paid rent on time in the past, show them your lease agreement and the rent book or bank statements to prove it.

The right to rent check is mandatory for all tenants who wish to rent a property in the private rented sector. Landlords who fail to verify their right to rent their property before leasing their property to a tenant may face legal action. The verification of the right to rent is carried out within 28 days prior to the entry into force of the new lease agreement. If some occupants of your home have the right to rent, but others don't, the landlord will need an eviction court order.

Your leasing agent and some landlords will perform a credit check to see if you've had trouble paying bills in the past.

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