The Home Office have announced that the Right to Rent provisions of the Immigration Act 2014 are to be rolled out for the remainder of England from 1 February 2016.

Currently, the provisions are only in force in certain areas.

We have produced some detailed guidance about the right to rent provisions but the Home Office and UK Visas and Immigration have also produced a code of practice which landlords and agents must comply with.

In short, landlords and agents (agents need written agreement) must ensure the prospective tenant(s) and other adult occupiers have a ‘right to rent’ in the UK by-

  • Checking all adult occupiers who will live in the property as their only or main home.
  • Asking adult occupiers for the original document(s) that show they have the right to be in the UK.
  • Checking the documents are valid with the occupier present.
  • Making and keeping copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

Tenants who sub-let their room will also need to make right to rent checks.

Where a document shows the adult occupier(s) has a limited right to remain in the UK, further checks will need to made by the landlord or agent nearer the time of expiry of leave to remain in the UK.

There are a number of companies offering to ‘scan’ a tenant(s) ID and report back whether it is acceptable. However, this is not suitable for the statutory guidance and the identification document(s) must be checked “… in the presence of the holder (in person or via live video link) …”.

Documents that will be acceptable include (but not limited to):

  • UK passport
  • EEA passport or identity card
  • permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
  • Home Office immigration status document
  • certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen

Certain documents are not acceptable on their own and two must be obtained (basically a passport on its own is acceptable, anything else will require two forms of ID to be obtained).

Please see our detailed guidance for full information.