Making sure tenants have right to rent in England
WITH January proving to be a triumphant start to the year, Lakin & Co has been making time to advise its clients on more government changes that will affect them this year.
As some landlords will be aware, as of last Monday (1 February), landlords of properties throughout England are now required to check that someone has the right to rent, before letting a property to them. Before the start of a new tenancy, landlords must make checks for tenants aged 18 and over even if; they’re not named on the tenancy agreement, there’s no tenancy agreement and if the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing.
Important copies of documents such as passports and visas will need to be taken and retained and landlords will be required to keep copies of the tenants’ documents throughout the rental term and for one year afterwards.
If the Home Office holds a tenant’s documents, landlords can use an online right-to-rent checking service at www.gov.uk, which also has details of a landlord helpline.The government has produced a user guide which can be found on its website too, providing information about the rules for document checks and examples of acceptable documents.
If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, landlords will need to carry out the check in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy.There are some instances where landlords won’t need to check tenants in some types of accommodation (eg social housing and care homes).
Landlords must also make a further check on their tenants to make sure they can still rent property in the UK if their permission to stay is time limited, otherwise a fine could be imposed (also known as a civil penalty) if they don’t make a further check and the tenant’s permission to stay runs out.
Furthermore, landlords must tell the Home Office if they find out that ar tenant can no longer legally rent property in England after making a further check, again they can be fined if they don’t. Penalties for not complying with the new rules can carry hefty fines of up to £3,000.
If you’re a landlord, don’t be caught out. Get in touch with a letting agent who carries out the right checks for you on your tenants – call Lakin & Co today on 01895 544 555.
MAKING THE RIGHT CHECKS: Lakin & Co can make life much more straightforward for landlords by carrying out right-to-rent checks on their behalf.