The Immigration (Hotel Records) Order 1972 (IHRO) is a little known piece of legislation which commenced in 1973. Its title is misleading by referring to “hotel records” because the Order applies to all types of residential lettings where a person will: “lodge or sleep, for one night or more, in accommodation provided for reward“.
The “keeper” includes a landlord and letting agent and is defined as “in relation to any premises, includes any person who for reward receives any other person to stay in the premises, whether on his own behalf or as manager or otherwise on behalf of any other person“.
Collection of information
The landlord/agent must collect the following information from all persons 16 years or older who stays at the premises on arrival:
- full name
In addition, for all persons aged 16 years or older, who are regarded by the Order as an “alien” (someone who is not a Commonwealth citizen, nor a British protected person nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland – Section 50 of the British Nationality Act 1981) must also supply the following:
- on arrival: proof of identity and nationality by way of a passport, certificate of registration or other document establishing his identity and
- on or before departure: his next destination and, if it is known to him, his full address there.
Under right to rent rules applicable to England, the requirement for similar checks is for “adults” only (18 years or older). The IHRO applies to all persons aged 16 years or older and applies to both England and Wales.
Where the person is defined as an “alien” under the Order, it’s a requirement to obtain the next destination and if known full address on or before departure. Currently, for the tenancy deposit prescribed information, an address is required to be used at the end of the tenancy. However, that address is simply an address for contacting at the end and won’t necessarily be their next destination. It’s important that the landlord/agent asks for a forwarding address around the departure date in order to comply with the obligation.
Records to be maintained
The keeper must record in writing the date of arrival for all persons aged 16 or older (the tenancy agreement will have a commencement date) and keep that record along with the information collected above for at least 12 months.
The records must be open to inspection at all times by any constable or any person authorised by the Secretary of State.
For landlords and agents already following the right to rent rules, this Order doesn’t particularly add much extra work, except to extend it to 16 and 17 years of age. For 16 and 17 years, a passport or other document confirming identity is only required if they are not a Commonwealth citizen, nor a British protected person nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland otherwise, just full name and nationality is needed.
A suitable application form is the easiest way of complying because it will ask the necessary questions and establish what further information needs to be sought.
Our new online application system is suitable for this except, at the time of writing, we only ask for the nationality of the applicant. We are going to extend this question to permitted occupiers and children. Furthermore, we only ask for the passport (or other ID) for the applicant but may extend this upload facility to allow uploads for other occupiers 16 years or older if they are an “alien” (the legislation word, not ours). We are working on ways to add this functionality.