1st February 2016, the requirement to undertake "right
to rent" checks becomes mandatory throughout England for all
tenancies starting on or after this date.
the principle legislation is the Immigration Act 2014. There
is currently a further Immigration Bill before parliament
which may change certain aspects, including making a failure
to comply a criminal offence. The Home Office is continuing
to issue Guidance and it is expected that over the coming
months further Guidance and tweaks to the existing Guidance
will be issued.
basic principle is that a landlord may not allow an adult
to occupy a property under a residential tenancy agreement
unless they satisfy one of three criteria:
The adult is a British Citizen; or
They are an EEA or Swiss National; or
They have a right to rent in the UK.
particular note is that this does not just apply to the named
tenants but any known occupiers of the Property. You must
therefore ask if there is intended to be any additional occupiers.
the tenant should sub-let, whether lawfully or unlawfully,
they will become the responsible person for undertaking these
checks. Also if the tenancy is a company let for the company's
employees the onus will be on the company to check however
their remains uncertainty about other occupiers such as family
members and many agents will wish to satisfy themselves that
they have a right to rent, at least initially, until further
means for all tenancies you need to think who actually will
be occupying. You are required to check the right to rent
in the 28 days prior to the start of the tenancy.
check whether someone has the appropriate right to rent you
need to see the appropriate documents. The types of documents
you can accept are set out in two lists. Group 1 (sometimes
referred to as the Safe List) and Group 2 (Semi-safe list).
Essentially Group 1 are passports and Visas which will be
the norm although it is believed over one million British
Citizens do not have a valid passport.
You must physically see the original of these documents with
the person in front of you (there is a provision for you to
have the originals with the person on video link but this
is unlikely to be widely used). You must check the document
to be satisfied that it is not an obvious forgery, you are
not expected to be a document expert but should be satisfied
as to the authenticity of the documents presented. You should
then take and keep copies. These copies should be kept for
one year after the end of the tenancy. You should ensure you
record how and when the copies were taken and by whom.
If the person has a time limited right to be in the UK (e.g.
a time limited visa) provided they have even one day beyond
the start of the tenancy left on that document they will have
a right to rent for 12 months. However you must then do a
follow up check either within 12 months or if the right to
remain is later (i.e. longer than 12 months) at the end of
this right. Given therefore such checks must be done within
28 days before hand this means in month 11 or the month before
the right expires and you should ensure you have systems in
place for recording when follow up checks are required.
prior to the start of the tenancy if someone cannot establish
the right to rent you have no obligation to report them to
the Home Office on a follow up check if the documents are
not provided (again face to face) or the right is established
you will have to report this to the Home Office.
is a provision within the Immigration Bill that in the case
of a follow up check failure the Home Office may be able to
issue an Order allowing you to evict the tenant. We need to
wait and see exactly what the provisions are when passed and
any accompanying regulations to see how this will work in
For those who have not got documents, possibly because of
an application or appeal which is pending, you can contact
the Home Office Landlord Checking Service either online or
via the telephone enquiry line. You will then receive within
2 working days a response confirming whether or not this person
has a right to rent. This response will have its own unique
reference number and will contain details as to when follow
up checks are required and should again be kept.
Home Office makes clear this is not however an advice service.
It is important to note that you must not apply the checks
in a discriminatory way. This means that you must not offer
someone less favourable terms (e.g. as to length of term)
simply based upon the right to rent check. In terms of enforcement
it will be the Home Office who will enforce probably following
on from intelligence they have gained.
will then have 28 days to object and if appropriate provide
evidence of compliance. Thereafter the Home Office can issue
a civil penalty which must be paid within 28 days (if paid
within 21 days the penalty will be 30% lower) or may be appealed
to the county court. For a first offence the penalty is £1,000
per occupier and for subsequent penalties £3,000 per occupier.
Pain Smith Solicitors
safer under new government measures - March 2015
Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke
and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties -Landlords
will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon
monoxide alarms in their properties, under measures announced
by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis today (11 March 2015). More
Concerns in rental property - information
for providers of residential accommodation
Health & Safety Executive September 2013
revised Approved Code of Practice (ACOP)
and guidance Legionnaires' disease: The control of legionella
bacteria in water systems has some important changes that
could affect you as a provider of residential accommodation.
This short guide will help you understand what these changes
mean for you, and the action you will need to take to ensure
that the risk from exposure to legionella in the premises
you are responsible for is properly controlled.
for tenants from HM Government October 2015 - Make sure that
this document is given with the the tenancy agreement to all
tenancies starting after 1st October 2015 onwards - Click
on image above to download
Electrical Safety Council have recently produced two documents
on Electrical Safety which can be used by landlords and to
answer their queries. More
on this here
be caught with one of these in your rental property
landlord has been fined £30,000 and given a six
month suspended sentence for letting a dangerous and sub-standard
house in Coventry. A statutory notice was served by Coventry
City Council officials following an inspection of the property
which revealed numerous hazards including severe damp, mould,
electrical problems and inadequate cooking facilities. The
landlord Steven Boote, was also reported for failing to provide
a gas safety certificate.More
Health & Safety Executive have launched a new website which
gives all sorts of up to date information on Gas Safety