As from today it is a legal requirement that landlords or agents acting on their behalf carry out quick and simple checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
Right to rent simply means that the occupier has a right to rent a property in the UK. Anyone without it is disqualified from renting. This can be broken down into two different groups, permanent and time limited rights to rent. Each has different requirements. The landlord would normally be responsible for these checks but they can pass on the obligation to their agent as part of a written agreement. Anyone who rents accommodation to someone who isn’t in the country lawfully without carrying out the checks may receive a civil penalty. This means that the agreement between the landlord and the agent must specifically refer to who is responsible for performing right to rent checks. If the agreement is silent on this then the landlord will be responsible. Landlords and agents may wish to reconsider their current agreements as a result.
Who has a permanent right to rent?
- British citizens; European Economic Area nationals (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.); and Swiss nationals.
- People who have a right of abode in the UK; who have been granted indefinite leave to remain; or have no time limit on their stay in the UK.
Who has a time limited right to rent?
Those who are not British citizens, EEA or Swiss nationals who have:
- valid leave to enter or remain in the UK for a limited period of time,
- Or are entitled to enter or remain in the UK as a result of Acts of Parliament, European Union Treaties and Immigration Regulations (eg family members of EEA nationals). However, some family members of EEA nationals may be able to demonstrate an unlimited right to rent.
Click HERE for HM Government guidance