What Are the Penalties for Renting to Someone Without the Right to Rent in the UK?

The Ministry of the Interior has established four new criminal offences that can result in a fine, up to five years in prison, or both for landlords who rent to tenants without the right to rent. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, some landlords could even receive a fine, a prison sentence and other penalties for not taking steps to remove illegal immigrants from a property. Landlords must check the documents of each adult who goes to occupy the property and must also carry out follow-up checks in some circumstances. If a landlord rents accommodation to a person without the right to rent, they could incur civil and criminal penalties.

British and Irish citizens automatically have the right to rent, while others depend on whether they have permission or permission to be in the UK. The fines imposed on landlords who rent to tenants who are not in a legal situation will increase from 80 pounds sterling per tenant and 1,000 pounds per occupant to 5,000 pounds sterling per tenant and 10,000 pounds per occupant in the event of a first offence. Penalties for repeated non-compliance will increase from 500 pounds sterling per tenant and 3,000 pounds sterling per occupant to a maximum of 10,000 pounds sterling per tenant and 20,000 pounds sterling per occupant. Landlords and agents who knowingly rent their properties to unauthorized migrants will face fines of up to £5,000 per tenant and £10,000 per first-time occupant in the event of an infringement. Your landlord can only evict you without a court order if no one living in your home has the right to rent. You must receive an eviction notice at least 4 weeks in advance.

If the Ministry of the Interior does not respond within two business days of the request, the landlord can consider it as if the Ministry of the Interior had issued a confirmation that the person has the right to rent. If it is determined that a landlord has authorized the occupation of a property by a person without the right to rent, the Ministry of the Interior will use the decision process set out below to first determine the liability of the landlord and then, in the event that the landlord is found responsible, will calculate the final amount of the fine per disqualified person. Some checks will allow an unlimited rental right, while others will allow a limited-time rental right. You can use your passport or an immigration document to prove your right to rent if you show that you have permission from the Home Office to be in the UK. Most people will have an unlimited rental right and others will have a limited-time rental right. Under these circumstances, landlords can prove a person's right to rent before occupying the property, and not before the residential tenancy agreement begins. If landlords use services from an IDSP for digital identity verification, holders of valid British or Irish passports (or Irish passport cards) can demonstrate their right to rent using this method.

Currently, landlords cannot evict an illegal migrant tenant, but new regulations are also designed to facilitate this process by providing additional grounds for possession and, in some cases, evicting an illegal migrant without a court order. Housing associations that manage their own waiting list or rent properties directly without approval from a local authority must prove the right to rent. If follow-up checks indicate that an occupant is no longer entitled to rent, or that one or more existing occupants are not cooperating, landlords must file a complaint with the Ministry of the Interior using an online form. The Plan specifies who may be responsible for a civil penalty in cases where a disqualified person with no right to rent is determined to occupy a position and landlords have changed since the original residential lease was granted. If follow-up checks show that some but not all occupants are not entitled to rent, landlords must take reasonable steps to end the lease. This document sets out how to carry out rent entitlement checks and how Ministry of Interior administers Plan. As a landlord you must verify that any tenant or tenant over 18 can legally rent your property.

Checks are still necessary and you should continue to check prescribed documents listed in landlord's guide or use Home Office's online service.