How to Conduct a Right to Rent Check: A Step-by-Step Guide

Verifying the original documents with the physically present tenant and ensuring that they are valid is the first step in conducting a right to rent check. Make copies of the original documents and record when the verification was completed. Follow-up checks should be performed at the appropriate time (e.g., repeat the verification when a tenant's visa expires). Ask your tenant to give you their participation code.

If your tenant can prove their right to rent using an accepted original document, you can't insist that they use the online service instead. The Home Office introduced Right 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. You can see a list of IDPs on GOV, United Kingdom. Landlords and rental agents should check people's right to rent before entering into a lease agreement with them to ensure that they are authorized to rent. To perform a manual check, you need to see the original documents that prove the tenants' right to rent; a list of accepted documents can be found on the government website.

Otherwise, you don't have to use the online service if you can prove your right to rent with an original document. The government says that to find out if you qualify for a rental permit, you should contact the owner of the case or the team that deals with your case, or ask when you visit an immigration information center. Prospective tenants whose immigration status disqualifies them from renting may be under the impression that they have permission to rent. If the applicant does not have the necessary documents, they can use the owner verification service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry out the verification.

While your tenants must obtain their visa after this 6-month period ends, the right-to-rent framework requires you to perform another verification before the end of a 12-month period to show that your tenants have the right to continue renting.

Landlords can be fined up to 3,000 pounds sterling if they rent to a person who has no right to rent or who doesn't prove it.

If you are unable to present a document that proves your right to rent, for example, because your passport is held by the Home Office, landlords can contact the Home Office using the UK government's landlord verification service. To prove your right to rent, you must provide the landlord with evidence confirming your immigration status, for example, that you are a British citizen, are established in the EU, have an indefinite residence permit or are a refugee. For example, some landlords think that they only need to prove the right to rent to people they think are not British.

The Joint Council for Immigrant Welfare also manages a confidential helpline for undocumented migrants on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at 0207 553 7470 and can offer specialized immigration advice on whether undocumented migrants can apply for a permit from the Ministry of the Interior to rent. If the tenant is not a British or Irish citizen, they can usually prove their right to rent with their original immigration documents. They will be able to consult the real-time system of the Ministry of the Interior to make their decision on the right to rent without the need for any other documentation.

New fines of up to 20,000 pounds sterling are expected to come into effect in 2020 for recidivism in the event of non-compliance with rules on the right-to-rent. It is stated that all adults who need permission to enter or stay in the UK, but do not have one, cannot rent a property from a private landlord.