Right to Rent
The Government has announced that from 1 February 2016 all private landlords in England will have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property. Under the new rules, landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ will face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant. The new law will mean that private landlords, including those who sublet or take in lodgers, must check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country to avoid being hit with a penalty. Under Right to Rent, landlords should check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. The Government claims scheme has been designed to make it straightforward for people to evidence their right to rent and a range of commonly available documents can be used, including: a UK passport European Economic Area passport or identity card permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain Home Office immigration status document certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British.
Penalties for illegal renting
You could be sent to prison for 5 years or get an unlimited fine for renting property in England to someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ didn’t have the right to rent in the UK.This includes if you had any reason to believe that:
they didn’t have leave (permission) to enter or stay in the UK
their leave had expired
their papers were incorrect or false
You can also be fined if both of the following apply:
you rent your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK
you can’t show that you checked their right to rent.