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Right-to-Rent Legislation - know the facts!

The right to rent legislation which forces landlords to check immigration status of prospective tenants becomes effective in parts of the country today, Large & Gibson set out the key facts for Landlords.

The new legislation comes in to effect today, though not yet in force in Portsmouth. Initially rolled out in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, the legislation is set to apply nationwide, Landlords should check for updates in their area.

The new legislation requires landlords to conduct immigration status checks on all prospective tenants to ensure that they have the right to rent in the UK.

The legislation only applies to new tenancies from the date of implementation, so there is no requirement to check the immigration status of existing tenants. Checks will need to be made on all adults aged 18 or over who are using the property as their only or main residence.

  • Failure to follow the legislation will result in a penalty fine for Landlords of up to £3000

Exemptions include  

  •  Accommodation provided by a local authority where there is a statutory duty to do so (including where the tenant is placed into the private rented sector);
  • Hostels and refuges;
  • Tied accommodation (provided by an employer); and
  • Halls of residence for students, or tenancy agreements in private residential accommodation where a higher educational institute has nominated a student for accommodation.

To p[erform a right to rent checks, landlords will be able to check new prospective tenants without contacting the Home office by requesting original documents from the tenants such as a passport. For a British National a passport, full birth certificate or driving license are acceptable.

You should photocopy original documents and keep these on file until 1 year after the tenancy ends. Queries can be checked by the Home Office.

More information about how to carry out a right to rent check is available online at including eligibility for a free online Home Office checking service to confirm whether someone has a right to rent. A helpline (0300 069 9799) is also available.

For more information see the government's guidance by clicking the links below

Summary guidance for Landlords

How to do a check

For legal assistance with landlord and tenant matters contact one of our experienced landlord and tenant lawyers today on 02392 296 296



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