Right to Rent Checks in Force From 1 February 2016
From 1 February 2016 private landlords and agents are now required to carry out right to rent checks on prospective tenants and other occupiers. These obligations are set out in Sections 20 to 37 and Schedule 3 of the Immigration Act 2014. This is part of the government’s policy to control illegal immigration, as it aims to prevent people unlawfully living in the UK from accessing key services, including the private rented sector.
Right to rent checks oblige private landlords and agents to check the immigration status of the prospective tenant or occupier to ascertain whether they have the right to occupy before granting tenancy. They must also make sure that someone’s right to occupy the premises does not lapse once the tenancy agreement has been granted, which is an onerous obligation.
A failure to perform right to rent checks could result in the landlord and/or agent being liable to financial penalties of up to £3,000.