The “right to rent” scheme is contained in the Immigration Act 2014.
This requires landlords of residential premises to check the immigration status of prospective tenants and other occupiers, to ascertain whether those parties have the right to be in the UK. If landlords (or their agents) fail to comply, they may be fined up to £3,000. The obligations have applied throughout England entered into since 1 February 2016.
What are you required to do?
Landlords should check the immigration status of all adults occupying the property, regardless of whether or not they are named in the tenancy or licence agreement, to avoid a contravention where an occupying adult who is not named in the agreement is disqualified from the right to rent as a result of their immigration status.
The immigration status of the occupant will either be (1) an unlimited right to rent (2) time limited right to rent, or (3) no right to rent.
A revised Landlord’s Code of Practice (the ‘Code’) has been published and will come into force on 1 July 2021. This means from 1 July 2021, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members require immigration status in the UK, in the same way as other foreign nationals. They can no longer rely on an EEA passport or national identity card to prove their right to rent. The revised Code reflects this change.
EEA citizens resident in the UK will have made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme and will have been provided with digital evidence of their UK immigration status. They will evidence their right to rent by sharing their immigration status digitally. Other EEA citizens may have another form of leave, held in a physical document, such as an endorsement in a passport or visa. Those documents are included in the prescribed document lists, providing landlords with a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty.
Where there is a contravention of the right to rent requirements, the ‘responsible landlord’ (or agent, if appropriate, will be issued with a penalty notice, for an amount not exceeding £3,000).
What should I do?
You should comply with the Code, which can be found here:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/991550/DRAFT_Code_of_Practice_on_right_to_rent_Civil_penalty_scheme_-_Web_Accessible.pdf, page 7 explains the changes to the Code.
If you are Landlord and need further support or would like more information please contact Matthew Blood on 02476 641642.