Understanding the Right to Rent Check Requirement

Accommodation provided by your employer as part of your work or training, or in a shelter or shelter managed by a public authority, a housing association, a voluntary organization or a charity is exempt from the right to rent check requirement. However, any other person who does not belong to one of these groups has no right to rent and should not be offered accommodation. The landlord must make a copy of all documents and keep them for at least 12 months after the end of the lease. If the tenant has a limited-time rental right, the landlord must write new checks after a year or (if longer) just before their current period of leave or right to live in the UK expires.

If the landlord then learns that the tenant has no current permit or right to live in the UK, they should immediately inform the Home Office. At the front of this document is a complete list of documents that can be used to comply with a verification of the right to rent. These may include letters from HM Prisons and probation services, as well as other documents such as passports. The landlord might want to find them in this online guide so they can show them to the tenant and review them more quickly. The Ministry of the Interior's online right to rent service offers a simple way to digitally verify a person's right to rent, without needing to verify a physical document. People using the service will generate a 9-character shared code that they can transmit to the landlord and that, when entered together with the person's date of birth, will allow them to access information about their right to rent.

If you only have a non-digital CoA, you'll need to check it through the landlord verification service to get a positive Right to Rent (PRRN) notification confirming your right to rent. If you've established that your tenant has an unlimited right to rent, you'll have an ongoing legal excuse and you won't need to perform any follow-up checks. It should be noted that the requirement to prove the right to rent only applies to rented private properties. The check for the right to rent is ultimately the responsibility of the landlord, although this task can be transferred to a real estate agent. The Home Office has issued a code of practice to help ensure that landlords and agents don't discriminate when enforcing these rules. This means that they must review everyone's documents, not just those of people who may appear to be migrants.

If you think you have been discriminated against, you can find guidance on how to challenge it here. If landlords are found to have rented to someone who has no right to rent, they can be fined and possibly sent to prison. It recommends that landlords use the verification service if they are not sure how this guide can be applied to potential tenants. This guide is vague, but it should mean that long-term residents (for example, people from Commonwealth countries) should find landlords more willing to accept them without the documents that others may need to provide. If a person needs a permit to be in the UK but doesn't have one, they have no right to rent.

All landlords in England are required by law to check the “right to rent” before leasing their property to a potential adult tenant.