Do Landlords Have to Do a Right to Rent Check?

Issuing a verification of the right to rent is a legal requirement for landlords in the UK and must be made to all potential tenants. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to understand and comply with the law. If a tenant has no right to rent, their request must be denied. You will need to ask them to show their immigration documents or passport when they start or renew their lease, as well as the documents of any other adult living with them.

This is called a “right to rent check” and must be done within 28 days prior to the entry into force of the new lease agreement. If you fail to verify their right to rent, you may face legal action. The Landlord Verification Service will tell you if they have the “right to rent” and provide you with the necessary documents. If your tenant can prove their right to rent using an accepted original document, you cannot insist that they use the online service instead.

It is important to follow up before the expiry date if there is a time limit on how long your tenant can rent in the UK. You may be able to continue renting if you offer a higher deposit, plus rent up front, or if you get a guarantor. It is illegal for landlords to refuse to rent based on race or nationality. All tenants and other adult occupants who are going to share the property with you are required to write the check for the right to rent.

This guide informs landlords, leasing agents or homeowners about how to verify the right to rent privately rented housing. If you carry out the follow-up check and discover that they are no longer entitled to rent in the UK, you should report this to the Home Office. The guide has been updated to align with the UK's exit from the EU, with changes to how EEA citizens will demonstrate their right to rent. You can receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for renting your property to a person who is not allowed to stay in England.