Right to rent checks

All landlords will no doubt be aware that before they can rent out a residential property in England, they must check that the tenant or lodger has the 'right to rent'. Before the start of a new tenancy, the landlord must check all tenants aged 18 and over even if:

  • they are not named on a tenancy agreement
  • there is no tenancy agreement
  • the tenancy agreement is not in writing.

The government amended the standard procedure which required face to face contact and sight of original documents to take account of the difficulties caused in this regard by the COVID lockdowns.

They introduced so called ''temporary' measures from 30 March 2020 which allowed the landlord to:

  • make the checks over video calls
  • receive from the tenant scanned documents or photocopies of documents for checks using an email or mobile app (rather than originals).

The government has announced that these measures can be used until 5 April 2022.  One wonders at what point 'temporary' becomes permanent.

If the landlord rents a property to someone who is not allowed to stay in England, the landlord could get an unlimited fine or face criminal proceedings.

To discuss this or any other landlord and tenant related matter, contact us.