Who is Responsible for Right to Rent Checks? A Comprehensive Guide for Landlords

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that all potential tenants are legally entitled to rent in the UK. The only exception to this rule are children under 18. It is essential that you do not allow anyone to move into your property until the right to rent has been proven. The Ministry of the Interior will send a notification with a request for proof that the necessary checks have been made; landlords who demonstrate that they have correctly carried out the checks on the right to rent will be able to file a defense. To ensure compliance with the rules on the right to rent, it is recommended that you include information and copies of documents in your lease agreement.

Once the verification of the right to rent has been completed, it is important to understand what status this confers on the tenant.

Landlords who can show that they have correctly issued their rent entitlement checks will be able to present a defense.

If you are using an online verification service, there is no need to consult physical documents as information on a person's right to rent is provided in real time directly from the systems of the Ministry of the Interior. Asking a tenant to prove their right to rent should never be seen as discriminatory; legislation is clear that this is a vital part of the leasing process and should not be omitted. All tenants applying for a lease in the private rented sector must be included in the entitlement to rent checks. If a person needs a permit to stay in England and does not have one, nor does they have a pending application with the Home Office, they therefore have no right to rent. As such, it is essential that landlords follow our guide on the right to rent and use this information to protect their interests.

If your check indicates that your prospective tenant has no right to rent, you should file a complaint with the Home Office using a simple online form. It's also worth noting that right-to-rent checks are not legally required for tenants of certain types of housing. There are three key steps involved in performing a manual verification of the right to rent, and all of them must be completed in order for the process to comply with legislation. If verifying your tenant's right to rent shows that they do not have permission to stay in the UK, it is essential that you do not continue with the tenancy. However, it is important to stress that landlords must prove the right to rent of all potential tenants, regardless of their nationality, and therefore not be vulnerable to accusations of discrimination.

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