RIGHT TO RENT

Right to Rent

Landlords will be hearing a lot about right to rent over the next few weeks.  James Birt has prepared this brief blog to give you the facts and how Naylor Powell will ensure you don’t fall foul of these new regulations.

 

Context

Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, or has a Right to Rent

in the UK.

 

THE CHANGES

The law introduces a requirement from 1 February 2016 for all landlords of private rental accommodation in England to carry out Right to Rent checks for new tenancy agreements to determine whether occupiers aged 18 and over have the right to live in the UK legally.

 

NOTE: The law does not apply to children (under the age of 18) living at the property and we will only check people who will be using the property as their only or main home.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Right to Rent checks are must be carried out if you are a private landlord; have a lodger; are sub-letting a property; are an agent appointed by a landlord to make Right to Rent checks. Any occupier who sub-lets all or part of their accommodation to a person for money will be classed as landlord under the law and liable for penalty.

 

WHAT WE WILL DO AS MANAGING AGENTS

We are pleased to say that we have been monitoring the trial scheme in The West Midlands and adopted the majority of the regulations over twelve months ago. However as it will shortly be law we have set out below the procedure:-

 

STAGE 1:  Establish who will live in the property. Obtain, Check and Copy one or more original documents that demonstrate the Right to Rent in the UK for all adult occupiers for that property in the presence of the holder. Acceptable documents include a UK passport and a permanent residence

card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain.  This has been part of our procedures at Naylor Powell for over twelve months.

 

We are not required to do further checks if the person doesn’t have any restrictions on their right to stay in the UK (such as if they are a British, EEA nations or non-EEA nationals with the right to be in the UK definitely).

 

If the tenant’s permission to stay in the UK is time limited, we will make a follow up check on the tenant.

 

We will securely store copies of all documents throughout the tenancy and for at least one year afterwards.

 

STAGE 2: Where the initial check shows that a person has the right to be in the UK for a limited time we will let to that person but we will make a follow up check every six months from the start of the tenancy.  In the case of Let Only tenancies we will inform the landlord of any need for follow up checks.

 

STAGE 3: If the follow up check shows that the person no longer has the right to be in the UK we will make a report to the Home Office.

 

THE IMPACT

A Landlord or Letting Agent can be fined up to £3,000 per occupier if the property is rented to

a person or people who are not allowed to stay in the UK and proof of checks cannot be shown.

A Landlord or Letting Agent can also be fined if follow up checks are not completed and relevant action taken.

 

If you have any further queries on this legislation call James Birt on 01452 504813 or email james.birt@naylorpowell.com.  

 

Naylor Powell

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