'Right to Rent’ goes live across England from 1 February 2016, agents and landlords will have to carry out quick and simple checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK. Right to Rent was first introduced in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 and the extension to England is the next phase of a nationwide roll out. Landlords and agents, and anybody who sublets or takes in lodgers, could face a financial penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant if they are found to be letting property to someone who has no right to stay in the UK. The Government has been working with an expert consultative panel, which includes letting agent organisations, local authorities and charities, to listen to feedback from the first phase of the scheme. The panel has advised on an updated landlords code of practice which includes changes to the acceptable document list to make it even simpler to conduct a check. The Home Office has just issued a helpful user’s guide to carrying out Right to Rent checks which can be found here. The guide contains an FAQs section to assist you with your queries. For any additional questions not covered in the documentation on the www.gov.uk website then please email us and we will get an answer for you from the Home Office. It is intended that the user’s guide will be updated regularly with additional FAQs. There is also an online checking aid available on GOV.uk which agents can use to guide them through the process and also to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office. Right to Rent checks should be carried out on all adult tenants for new tenancy agreements in England from 1 February 2016
Please make sure that you or your agent are competent in making these checks, Busybee Lettings has been conducting them for the past few months to make sure that we are ready for when it goes live in February.
Important Note: The introduction of Right to Rent will necessitate an update to the Government’s How to Rent guide. Summary To get ready for the new rules, here are some tips and advice. Further guidance can also be found on GOV.uk Who does the Right to Rent scheme apply to? The scheme applies to private landlords with property in England, including people who are subletting their property or taking in lodgers. Alternatively an agent can be appointed by a landlord to make Right to Rent checks on their behalf. Checks must be carried out on all adult occupants – the rules apply to new tenancy agreements from 1 February 2016. Existing tenancy agreements are not affected. What are the penalties for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK? You could face a civil penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK.