From 1st July 2021, either digital or hard copy checks using a revised acceptable document list will be required by letting agents and landlords before renting a property out. This is because of the UK’s point-based immigration system causing changes to the right to rent checks in England.
Checks for Existing Tenants
EEA citizens who started their tenancy before 30th June 2021 are not required to undergo further checks, as long as the initial assessment was performed in line with the appropriate guidelines at the time.
If the correct checks were not performed, then follow up reviews are required. If an EU citizen fails a follow-up check and no longer has the necessary right to rent, the agent is to report their findings to the Home Office.
The Home Office online service is available and easy to access. This is a quick and efficient way for agents to check the authenticity of documents. This online check enables the agent to use details of the tenant to gain immigration status results for the right to rent. A copy of the results must be saved for a minimum of a year after the tenancy ends.
Enforcement of the right to rent scheme carries a significant penalty of up to £3000 per person disqualified. For any repeat offenders, this issue is likely to be escalated to criminal prosecution and potential prison sentences.
The responsibility for the correct immigration right to rent checks lie with the landlord, but when using an agent, as many landlords do, the responsibility is transferred. This must be clearly outlined and acknowledged as part of your agent’s service to ensure all parties are clear on their responsibilities. Therefore, all required checks are performed swiftly and correctly.
Using a professional lettings agent, such as Hardings Lettings, ensures you get a thorough and sound service that meets all guidelines and regulations. If you are unsure of your requirements regarding immigration right to rent checks, you can read more on the government website.
If you have existing tenancies, you are not sure meet the requirements, use the online service, government website, or talk to a specialist letting agent.
For more information on renting and landlord duties, contact Hardings Lettings on 01277 233400.