The beginning of the month saw Right to Rent checks being rolled out. With hefty fines for those who fail to participate, here are five things every Landlord should know about Right to Rent.
- Many landlords and their agents are already carrying out the checks. They’re quite easy to do too according to those in charge of implementation. James Brokenshire, the Immigration Minister, responded to policy critics by saying the checks are easy and simple. He said they aim to provide landlords with all the advice and support needed. Right to Rent is about deterring those who are illegally resident from remaining in the UK. Those with a legitimate right to be here will be able to provide this easily and will not be adversely affected.
- However… Concerns have been raised about those who have foreign names and risk being discriminated against. Homeless shelter Crisis has also expressed serious apprehension that the more complicated procedures may make it harder for homeless people to find a place to live.
- Right to Rent was already in effect in some areas prior to February 1. If you owned a tenanted property in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley or Wolverhampton, Right to Rent checks should have already been done.
- Some properties will be excluded under the scheme. For a full list see gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents The types of residential tenancy agreements that are exempt from the scheme are still being finalised but so far include: Accommodation involving Social Housing, Social Housing and Student Housing.
- So how are the checks done?
Check which adults are living at the property – make sure that it’s their main home. If it is, then you would expect them to have recorded the property address as their primary residence on the electoral roll.
Ask to see original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK.
Copies are not sufficient. These documents should be checked thoroughly and ensured the documents have not expired, the photos match the tenants and they don’t look damaged/tampered with.
Make your own copies of these documents and keep them safe – Record the date the checks are made. As with everything effective record keeping will save a lot of time later on down the road.
Those in any doubt as to what they need to do to comply should check gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents
Alternatively, feel free to give us a call on 01924 477999.