How to Conduct a Right to Rent Check: A Step-by-Step Guide

Verifying the right to rent is an important step for landlords and rental agents before entering into a lease agreement with tenants. This guide will provide a step-by-step process for conducting a right to rent check. The Home Office introduced Right to Rent checks with the aim of making it harder for people to live and work illegally in England. Leases in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not subject to right-to-rent checks.

Step 1: Verify the original documentsThe first step is to verify the original documents with the physically present tenant and ensure that they are valid. Make copies of the original documents and record when the verification was completed.

Step 2: Perform follow-up checks

It is important to perform follow-up checks at the appropriate time (e.g., repeat the verification when a tenant's visa expires). Ask your tenant to give you their participation code.

Step 3: Use Certified Identity Service Providers (IDSP)

If your tenant can prove their right to rent using an accepted original document, you can't insist that they use the online service instead.

Certified Identity Service Providers (IDSP) are external providers that comply with a government standard for digitally verifying the right to rent of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards). IDSPs offer convenient checks, but not all agents will be able to offer Right to Rent checks through an IDSP (even for this restricted group) and whether this is a suitable option for your lease will depend on several different factors. You can see a list of IDPs on GOV, United Kingdom.

Step 4: Check people's right to rent

Landlords and rental agents should check people's right to rent before entering into a lease agreement with them to ensure that they are authorized to rent.

To perform a manual check, you need to see the original documents that prove the tenants' right to rent; a list of accepted documents can be found on the government website.

Step 5: Check status of pending applications

Changes in the way in which those who have pending applications with the EUSS demonstrate their right to rent, refer to Annex C. They will be able to consult the Ministry of the Interior system in real time to make their decision on the right to rent without needing any other document.

Step 6: Check immigration documents

If the tenant is not a British or Irish citizen, they can usually prove their right to rent with their original immigration documents.

It has a free and confidential helpline for undocumented migrants on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on 0207 553 7470 and can offer them specialized immigration advice on whether they can apply for a permit from the Ministry of the Interior for rent.

Step 7: Understand consequences of non-compliance

If you rent your property to someone who has no right to rent it in England, you can receive a fine of up to 3,000 pounds sterling for each tenant or be sent to prison. Landlords can be fined or go to prison if they don't cancel their tenancy and evict tenants after the government has informed them that one or more people on the property have no right to rent.

This is a person who agrees to take care of your rent and other things that you agree to in the lease.

Step 8: Re-verify limited stay in UK

If you sublet the property you rent, it will be your responsibility to carry out a verification of the right to rent and keep evidence of this before the occupant moves. Landlords must ensure that, before they can agree or initiate a tenancy, they have demonstrated that the tenant is legally in the UK and has the right to rent residential property. Limited stay in the United Kingdom Landlords and rental agents have a legal obligation to re-verify the right to rent if the identity document you provide belongs to “list B”, as these documents only allow you to establish a legal excuse for a limited time.

Step 9: Understand new fines New fines of up to 20,000 pounds sterling are expected to come into effect in 2020 for recidivism in the event of non-compliance with rules on the right to rent. Before Brexit, citizens of EU, EEA and Switzerland had an unlimited right to rent in UK. However, it is important to stress that landlords must verify the right to rent of all potential tenants, regardless of their nationality, and therefore not be exposed to accusations of discrimination.

Once verification is complete, it is useful know what status this confers on tenant


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