It has just been announced that the Right to Rent scheme will be extended across England from February 1st 2016.
What's it all about?
The scheme has been put in place to allow landlords to check check the immigration status of tenants.
A pilot scheme has been running in the West Midlands since December 2014, and during the first six months of the scheme, 109 illegal immigrants were found to be living in the region.
Landlords can be fined up to £3,000 if they are found to be renting a property to someone who isn't legally allowed to live in the UK, and it cannot prove that their 'right to rent' has been checked.
When is it happening?
The scheme will be extended across the UK on the 1st February 2016. All tenants that apply to rent a property must be subject to the new legislation.
What do I need to do?
There are four main steps which a Landlord must follow in order to carry out a Right to Rent check. They are:
- Check which adult will live in the property as their only/main home
- Ask tenants for the original documents that show they have the right to live in the UK
- Check that the documents are valid, with the tenant present
- Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date that you made the check
There are a number of documents that can be accepted as a valid example of a right to be in the UK. These include:
- A valid UK passport
- A European Economic Area passport or identity card
- A permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
- A Home Office immigration status document
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen
Check out the full government's guideto acceptable documents.
Are there any grey areas?
The Human Rights Commission provided guidance in the creation of a Code of Practice,which provides guidance on how to avoid unlawful discrimination when carrying out a Right to Rent check on a new tenant.
If a potential tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, you can conduct a check on that person’s ‘right to rent’ via the Landlords Checking Service.
Can you help!?
The team at Urban.co.uk are able to assist you however you require – if you have any questions our lettings team are more than happy to help!
Email us or give us a call on 0800 689 9955 if you'd like any further information.
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