Everything You Need to Know About Right to Rent Checks

Verifying documents for a right to rent check can seem intimidating at first, but it doesn't have to be. This guide provides homeowners with all the information they need to know about document verification standards, examples of acceptable documents, and frequently asked questions. A British passport (current or expired) or an Irish passport or passport card (current or expired) are the most common documents used to prove your right to rent. Other documents that can be used include a certificate of registration or naturalization as a British citizen, a GOV, UK certificate of registration or naturalization, and a reference number from the Ministry of the Interior.

You may also need to provide a credit check and a reference showing that you can afford the rent and that you'll be a good renter. Verification of your documents is likely to take place after finding the property you want to rent and before you move, around the same time you are expected to pay your rent deposit. At Ocasa Homes, we perform all the checks on your documents within a 48-hour period, so you don't have to wait long to see if you can rent the property of your choice. The landlord or rental agent may also need to repeat checks during or at the end of the lease if there is a time limit on your right to stay in the United Kingdom. If you can't prove your right to rent, there's a chance you won't be able to rent the property you've chosen. If you weren't born in the UK but are currently living here, you'll need to provide information about your immigration status.

You can show a passport or a residence document to pass this check. However, if you are not an EU citizen, your passport must confirm that you are allowed to be in the UK. If your documents are in the hands of the Ministry of the Interior, simply provide the landlord with your reference number so that they can verify their immigration status. Leasing agents and some landlords will perform credit checks to see if you've had trouble paying rent or bills on time. This may sound a little scary at first, but don't worry.

First they have to ask you for permission and they won't penalize you if you don't have a credit history. You'll only be affected if you have what's called “adverse credit,” meaning you have a poor history of paying credit commitments. Remember that the landlord cannot charge you for credit checks, as this is illegal. Don't pay any fees you're not sure about. You can apply for an entitlement check to rent from GOV, UK. The Home Office introduced rent-to-rent checks with the aim of making it harder for people to live and work illegally in England.

Leases in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not subject to right-to-rent checks. Certified Identity Service Providers (IDSP) are external providers that comply with a government standard for digitally verifying the right to rent of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards). IDSPs offer convenient checks, but not all agents will be able to offer Right to Rent checks through an IDSP (even for this restricted group) and whether this is a suitable option for your lease will depend on several different factors. In most cases, verifying the right to rent is simple. However, if your tenant is a foreigner, make sure that their right to remain in the country has not ended.

If they can't prove it or have a case pending appeal, you'll need to check with the Home Office. The original documents include data such as passports and immigration status documents issued by the Ministry of the Interior. There's a full list of documents you can show to prove your right to rent at GOV, UK. You should get immigration advice if they tell you that you don't have the right to rent or that your permit to live in the UK has expired.

There are also special guidelines for verifying the right to rent for long-time non-EEA nationals and for members of the Windrush generation who often have a legal right to live in the UK but may not be able to prove it. Then they can allow remaining legal tenants to continue their tenancy by reassigning it to one or more remaining adult occupants who have the right to rent. If you sublet the property you rent, it will be your responsibility to carry out a verification of the right to rent and keep evidence of this before the occupant moves. If you're from Ukraine (and don't live with a host under either Housing Program for Ukraine or Ukrainian Family Program), then view images of documents that can be used on GOV (UK) specific guide.