Question

Foreign students allowed to stay for a time-limited period ending during the tenancy

by | 11 Aug 2016

I have been approached by 3 Chinese students who would like to rent one of our flats.
They only have a 3 months visa expiring in September and apparently can only apply for a year’s visa after 7th September, the date they want to move in.
They do have student cards.

How do I stand in respect of the Immigration Act 2014?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    The first thing is that it sounds like you’re basically compliant with the Immigration Act and right to rent requirements by the checks you are / have undertaken.

    I’ve just had a look at the statutory guidance and conclude the following:

    Firstly, it’s okay to do the physical checks in person on the same day as the tenancy commences (in case you’ve just been using scanned copies for the time-being):

    Landlords should check all prospective occupiers’ right to rent before granting a residential tenancy agreement. However, there will be some circumstances where it is not possible to undertake checks before the residential tenancy is granted. For instance, an occupier may be overseas and wish to arrange accommodation for work or study in the UK in advance of their arrival. In these circumstances, landlords are allowed to check a person’s right to rent before taking up occupation of the property, rather than before the start of the residential tenancy agreement.

    It seems to me that “on the day” of the start of tenancy, the tenant has a time limited right to rent albeit for only that day, after which it expires. The guidance then says:

    Where the initial right to rent checks are satisfied with a document from List B, or where the Landlords Checking Service has provided a ‘yes’ response to a request for verification of a right to rent, a landlord establishes a time-limited statutory excuse. This time-limited statutory excuse lasts either for 12 months or until expiry of the person’s permission to be in the UK, or until expiry of the validity of their document which evidences their right to be in the UK, whichever is later. Follow-up checks should be undertaken before this time-limited statutory excuse expires or as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter in order to maintain a statutory excuse.

    Therefore, assuming the expiry date of their visa is okay to be on the same day as the tenancy, follow up checks aren’t needed again until just before 12 months.

    You can also see our guidance available here.

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