On the 1st December 2014, the Immigration Act 2014 came into effect. Under Section 22 of this act a landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy a property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or EEA or Swiss national, or has a ‘right to rent’ in the UK. Someone will have the ‘right to rent’ in the UK provided they are present lawfully in accordance with immigration laws. Landlords who breach section 22 may be liable for a civil penalty.
Landlords have the option to appoint an agent to act on their behalf and where an agent has accepted this responsibility, the agent will be the liable party in place of the landlord (non-compliance with the legislation could lead to a fine of up to £3,000.00) The legislation and civil penalty scheme will be introduced in geographical phases starting with a pilot area of Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Sandwell from the 1st December 2014. From this date, any adult who wishes to occupy a property as their main/principle home under a residential tenancy will be required to provide their agent/landlord with proof of their ‘right to rent’.
Acceptable documentation includes passports and biometric residence permits. In a limited number of cases, such as where tenants don’t have their documents due to an ongoing Home Office application, landlords can request a check using the ‘right to rent’ tool on the website.
It is currently proposed that the legislation will rollout nationally in April 2015 (however this is subject to change by the government).
The legislation does not require any right to rent check to be carried out for any occupants of tenancies which commenced prior to the 1st December 2014. In brief there are 3 steps in establishing and maintaining a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty:
Prior to accepting an offer from an applicant, the responsible party should complete the following:
Where an applicant has a time-limited right to rent, the landlord will have an obligation to conduct follow up checks to ensure a tenant continues to have rights to reside in the UK. This check must be carried out either within a year of the previous check or on expiry of the persons permission to be in the UK whichever is later.
Checks must be carried out in the same process as above (original documents, in person and copies taken). – Further information regarding the legal requirements can be found https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice
We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Best Supplier of the Year category with the prestigious Negotiator Awards. These property awards help customers narrow down the search for the most reliable lettings and property services companies, while bringing well deserved recognition to hardworking property professionals. Find out what the awards are all about [...]READ MORE
With several types of tenancies out there, the variations can get confusing for new tenants and landlords. So, what is a periodic tenancy? Periodic tenancies can offer great benefits, including increased flexibility and less paperwork. However, they aren’t without their drawbacks. That’s why we’ve created this guide on the risks and rewards of periodic tenancies, [...]READ MORE
Subletting is surprisingly common and can offer benefits for both landlords and tenants. But what counts as subletting? And what do landlords need to know about the risks? We explore what subletting is and what you can do as a landlord to mitigate the risks. What is Considered Subletting? Subletting is when a tenant [...]READ MORE
From where to advertise, to creating an engaging listing, getting your marketing right is essential for making your property stand out from the crowd. Effective advertising generates greater interest in your property, attracting the right target tenants and providing you with a wider tenant pool to choose from. Here, we share our advice on how [...]READ MORE