Do Landlords Have to Check Immigration Status?

Landlords and rental agents must verify the immigration status of all adults who will be living on the property before the tenancy begins. This is a legal requirement in England, and failure to comply can result in fines of up to £3,000 per adult. Verifying the right to rent means confirming that the tenant is legally allowed to be in the UK. There are two ways to do this: using a government stock code or manually checking documents.

It is illegal to discriminate against people based on their nationality or race when carrying out these checks. A new guide has been released for homeowners on right-to-rent checks from undocumented Commonwealth citizens. Landlords must pay the right to rent to all tenants, regardless of whether they think they are British citizens or not. They can ask their leasing agent to carry out the checks on their behalf, but this must be done in writing.

To manually verify a tenant's right to rent, landlords must request the original documents (not copies) from each tenant over the age of 18, showing that they have the right to rent in the UK. If landlords can show that they have issued the correct rent entitlement checks, they will be able to file a defense if they are fined.

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