What Happens When a Tenant's Immigration Status Changes After the Initial Right to Rent Check?

Verifying a tenant's right to rent is a must before the start date of the lease agreement. Landlords and agents must check the immigration status of all adults living on the property before the tenancy begins. Documents from Lists A and B accepted as valid checks for the right to rent will no longer include passports or national identity cards of the EU, EEA or Switzerland. A report has been published on the impact of the second phase of the right to rent plan, which suggests that it leads to illegal discrimination based on ethnicity or nationality.

If a tenant is told they don't have the right to rent or their permit to live in the UK has expired, they should seek immigration advice. They can demonstrate their right to rent by sharing their immigration status digitally, using the Home Office's online “right to rent service” on GOV. If a tenant has an unlimited right to rent, verification must be done at any time before the start date of the tenancy. The Home Office is introducing higher fines, which will take effect in early 2024, and will include charges of up to £20,000 for repeat infringements.

If you are renting out a room, you need to prove their right to rent unless the landlord says they will. If a tenant has a visa or residence permit for more than a year, landlords must do a follow-up check when their license ends. This change does not affect Irish citizens, who can continue to rely on their passports to prove their right to rent in the UK. However, they can no longer rely on an EEA passport or national identity document to prove their right to rent property in the UK.

The law is designed to combat illegal immigration by making it difficult to live and work illegally in the UK. Visitors or business visitors using electronic gates will receive an automatic entry permit for up to six months and will not have a document proving their legal status in the UK. If a tenant's visa or residence permit ends within a year, landlords must do a follow-up check after one year if they still live there. Those who left Ukraine due to war have the right to rent as long as they have permission from the Home Office to stay in the UK. Citizens of EEA countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States can use a combination of their passport and proof of entry into the UK to demonstrate their right to rent for up to six months.