How will Brexit impact Right to Rent?

Question

How does a Brexit impact Right to Rent? Will I have to do anything differently now?

Answer

Currently it feels like there are no solid answers to many questions surrounding the future after Brexit, however, many people have concerns about Right to Rent, and speculation is rife about what the future holds for this relatively new landlord check.

If the UK exits the Single Market, sadly Right to Rent checks are likely to get a little more complicated for landlords and agents.
If you already have a tenant who is an EEA national they are likely to retain a status which will allow them to reside in the UK, and therefore rent a property without any concern.

However, if someone is entering the UK for the first time, the visa system is likely to be slightly more complicated in line with new immigration regulations (yet to be firmly decided by the Government!), and therefore it will be harder for landlords to identify the status of potential new tenants.
Also, European nationals will no longer have a continuous ‘right to rent,’ so their visas will have to be subject to repeat checks. Failure to carry out those repeat checks on time, will leave landlords liable to facing fines and (once the Immigration Act 2016 provisions come into effect) a period of imprisonment of up to 5 years.

Due to the history of free movement between the UK and Europe, it is likely that there will be a number of outstanding residents present in the UK who do not have the appropriate legal paperwork required to legally reside in the country. There is a danger that landlords could unwillingly fall foul of the new regulations and let a property to someone without qualifying immigration status.

Ultimately, the way in which you will have to carry out Right to Rent checks will not change. It is likely that you will have to carry checks out more frequently (with all European residents needing repeat checks when visas expire), but until the dust settles there is no clear view of what the future holds.

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