What Happens After a Right to Rent Check?

If you rent your property, your landlord or leasing agent will ask you to provide proof of your immigration status or passport. This is known as a “right to rent check” and must be done before the start date of the lease. It is mandatory for all tenants and other adult occupants who share the property with you to pass the verification of the right to rent. Private landlords may also check credit history, but this is less common.

If you don't have any documents because you're waiting for an immigration decision from the Home Office, ask the landlord to request a “right to rent” check from the Home Office. The landlord or leasing agent will use your participation code or documents to prove that you have the right to rent. Keep in mind that if you perform a manual verification of the right to rent, green cards or biometric permits cannot be accepted. If the tenant believes they have unlimited permission to be in the United Kingdom, but cannot submit any of the above documents, they can also establish an unlimited right to rent by presenting two other documents from a list drawn up by the Home Office.

If you've proven that your tenant has an unlimited right to rent, you'll have a permanent legal excuse and you won't need to carry out any follow-up checks. The verification of the right to rent must be done within 28 days prior to the start of the new lease agreement. Real estate investors can be fined or even face prison sentences of up to five years if they had “reasonable reason to believe” that they did not have the right to rent in the United Kingdom. If a subsequent verification of the right to rent indicates that they can no longer rent the property, the landlord must report their immigration status to the Ministry of the Interior.

The Home Office will issue a disqualification notice requiring the landlord to evict tenants who do not have the right to rent in the UK.