Since February 2016, private landlords are now required to check the immigration status of new tenants before granting a residential tenancy.
This will be done by landlords requesting documents from their prospective tenants to show that they have the legal right to live in the UK. The legislation will only apply to new tenants, so there is no need to check your existing tenants although checks will be required when renewing a tenancy if any additional tenants are added to the agreement.
Under the new regulations, as a landlord/agent we must check documentation of anyone who applies to rent a property. The checks must be carried out on all potential adult occupiers of the property and must be made before tenants move in.
British citizens, EEA and Swiss nationals are permitted to live in the UK and have an unlimited right to rent. These tenants can simply provide a current or expired passport or national identity card. If they do not have one of these there are a range of other documents that can be supplied and full details are available in the Right to Rent user guide issued by gov.uk.
Nationals of other countries may also have permission to live in the UK or a time limited right to rent in the UK. Acceptable documents include a valid passport that has been endorsed, biometric immigration document or immigration status document indicating that the named person may stay in the UK for a limited period.
The legislation states that landlords/agents must keep the documents for the duration of the tenancy and for a minimum period of 12 months after the tenancy has ended. All documents must be kept in a safe and secure manner and destroyed within 6 years.
If a prospective tenant cannot produce the required documents and they have an ongoing application or appeal with the Home Office then it is possible to request a right to rent check. The Home Office will then issue a simple yes or no response within 2 working days
If you have any questions about your eligibility to rent an Open Door home, get in touch with a member of our helpful team.Get in Touch