How Landlords Verify Immigration Status

When it comes to renting a property, landlords must verify the immigration status of all potential occupants before granting a residential lease. This is known as a “right to rent check” and is done to ensure that the tenant has the legal right to live in the UK and rent the property. The landlord or leasing agent will ask you to show your immigration documents or passport when you start or renew your lease. You will also be asked to see the documents of any other adult living with you. If the Home Office has granted the tenant a permit to rent, you must provide the landlord or leasing agent with a Home Office reference number.

If you don't have any documents because you're waiting for an immigration decision from the Home Office, ask the landlord to ask the Home Office for a “right to rent” check. Before a tenant moves to the landlord's property, they must complete a right to rent verification to verify their immigration status. As part of the post-Brexit transition agreement, citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein now require Right to Rent immigration controls. This data, issued in the form of a “shared code”, which can be entered on the Right to Rent government website, along with your date of birth, will reveal your immigration status. ARLA Propertymark, the Association of Residential Leasing Agents, has been working in collaboration with the Home Office to implement these changes. You may be asked to submit evidence each time your lease is renewed, or the landlord may write to you in writing for a fixed period of time to request an updated confirmation of your situation in the United Kingdom.

When checking their immigration status, you'll need to take note of how long they're allowed to stay and then perform a follow-up check before it ends that deadline. It's less common for private landlords to check credit because it can cause it to take longer to rent a property. However, some leasing agents and landlords will perform a credit check to see if you've had trouble paying bills in the past. A collection of guidelines is available to help landlords, homeowners, and rental agents properly verify the right to rent and avoid civil penalties. Simply put, their goal is to ensure that all private tenants in England have the “right” to rent their landlord's property. Right to rent checks are sometimes complex and the consequences can be serious if they are not done correctly.

Read an overview of the right to rent checks and the civil penalties landlords may face for illegal rentals.