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Right to Rent - Important notice to Landlords and Tenants

With effect from today (1st February 2016) The Immigration Act 2014 requires Landlords (and Agents) to establish that an adult has the right to occupy rented accommodation in the UK.

With effect from today (1st February 2016) The Immigration Act 2014 requires Landlords (and Agents) to establish that an adult has the right to occupy rented accommodation in the UK.

This means that original documents, such as a passport, must be checked by a landlord or letting agent in order to ascertain that adults are entitled to reside in the UK. The checks apply to all adults living in the property, not just those on the tenancy agreement. 

There are three outcomes from the checking process:

·         An ‘Unlimited Right to Rent’ - This is likely to relate to British citizens, members of the EEA and Swiss nationals, and people who have been granted indefinite leave in the UK.

·         A ‘Time Limited Right to Rent’ – Where adults have evidence that they have valid permission to remain in the UK for a stated period of time. Alternatively, they have the right to stay in the UK due to an enforceable right under EU law (e.g. qualifying under immigration rights). The Right to Rent checks must be carried out no earlier than 28 days before the start of the tenancy and follow up checks must be made before the expiry of the eligibility period of the tenant to remain in the UK.

·         No right to rent – If someone cannot produce the required documents or they do not have an application or appeal lodged with the Home Office, they will be unable to rent accommodation. 

Right to Rent checks are only required on tenants who are renting a property as a main or only home. 

A property would be regarded as their main or only home if, for example:

·         They live there most of the time

·         They keep most of their belongings there

·         Their partner or children live with them

·         They are registered to vote at that address

·         They are registered at the doctor or dentist under that address

This is not an exhaustive list and if there is any doubt – carry out the checks.

The requirements do not apply to tenancies created before the 1st February 2016 or to any subsequent renewals for tenancies created before that date, unless you have properties located within Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall where the earlier trial period from 1 December 2014 will apply. 

As a landlord or tenant it is important that you understand these new rules and what they mean to you. For full and more detailed information about Right to Rent and to ensure you have all the information required of you, The Home Office has produced a booklet that provides examples of documents and what to look for, which you can view here. For advice about your property needs or any questions you have about renting or letting, speak to your nearest Winkworth office. Click here to find yours. 


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