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Right to Rent Launch 1st February 2016 Home / Right to Rent Launch 1st February 2016

Right to Rent Launch 1st February 2016

03-Feb-2016 The ‘Right to Rent’ laws which came into effect on the 1st February 2016 across the UK and it seems to have caught both landlords and tenants out with many not knowing about thsi new law.

So here at Go Direct Lettings we are making things easy for you by giving you the low down on what you need to do as a landlord to comply with the ‘Right to Rent’ law.

Before the start of a new tenancy, you must make checks for tenants aged 18 and over even if:

  • they’re not named on the tenancy agreement
  • there’s no tenancy agreement
  • the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing

If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, you need to do the check in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy.

*Information taken from www.gov.uk website

How to make a check

1 – Check if the property is used as the tenant’s only or main home

A property would usually be a tenant’s only or main home if:

  • they live there most of the time
  • they keep most of their belongings there
  • their partner or children live with them
  • they’re registered to vote at the property
  • they’re registered with the doctor using that address

2 – Check their original documents

*List of documents accepted

When you’re with the tenant, you need to check that:

  • the documents are originals and belong to the tenant
  • the dates for the tenant’s right to stay in the UK haven’t expired
  • the photos on the documents are of the tenant
  • the dates of birth are the same in all documents (and are believable)
  • the documents aren’t too damaged or don’t look like they’ve been changed
  • if any names are different on documents, there are supporting documents to show why, eg marriage certificate or divorce decree

If the tenant is arranging their tenancy from overseas, you must see their original documents before they start living at the property.

3 – Make a copy of the documents

When you copy the documents:

  • make a copy that can’t be changed, eg a photocopy or a good quality photograph
  • for passports, copy every page with the expiry date or applicant’s details (eg nationality, date of birth and photograph), including endorsements, eg a work visa or Certificate of Entitlement to the right of abode in the UK
  • copy both sides of biometric residence permits
  • make a complete copy of all other documents
  • record the date you made the copy

Keep copies of the tenant’s documents for the time they’re your tenants and for one year after.

4 – If the Home Office has the tenant’s documents

Use the landlord’s checking service to find out if the tenant is allowed to rent property if either:

  • the Home Office has the tenant’s documents
  • the tenant has an outstanding case or appeal
  • You’ll get an answer within 2 working days.

You’ll need the tenant’s Home Office reference number to use the service. Call the landlord’s helpline if you need help.

Further checks

You must make a further check on your tenant to make sure they can still rent property in the UK if their permission to stay is time limited. You can get a fine (also known as a civil penalty) if you don’t make a further check and your tenant’s permission to stay runs out.

Depending on which is the longest, you must make a further check just before either:

  • the expiry date of your tenant’s right to stay in the UK
  • 12 months after your previous check

You won’t have to make a further check if your tenant doesn’t have any time restrictions on their right to stay in the UK.

If your tenant doesn’t pass a further check

You must tell the Home Office if you find out that your tenant can no longer legally rent property in England after making a further check. You might be fined if you don’t.

You can choose to evict your tenant if you want to. You must follow the rules for evicting tenants.

If you have a lodger, you can choose to end your tenancy agreement with them. How much notice you give your lodger will depend on which type of tenancy they have.

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