As of 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England MUST check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK, before renting out their property to them.
Before the start of a new tenancy, a landlord must check ALL tenants aged 18 and over, even if,
- they are not named on the tenancy agreement
- there is no tenancy agreement
- the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing
If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, a landlord would need to do the check in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy
What to do:
- Check which adults will use your property as their main home (your ‘tenants’).
- Ask them for original documents, that prove they can live in the UK, for example a biometric residence permit or a birth certificate with a Council Tax bill.
- Check that the documents give them the right to rent your property.
- Check that each tenant’s documents are genuine and belong to them, with the tenant present.
- Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
You can be fined up to £3,000 for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England.
You MUST do a follow-up check to make sure that your tenant can still rent property in the UK if there is a time limit on their permission to stay.
You can get a fine if you don’t do a follow-up check and your tenant’s permission to stay ends.
Do the follow-up check just before the date that’s furthest away out of:
- the end of your tenant’s permission to stay in the UK
- 12 months after your previous check
You don’t have to do a follow-up check if there’s no time limit on your tenant’s permission to stay in the UK.
If your tenant fails a follow-up check, you must tell the Home Office. If you find out that your tenant can no longer legally rent property in England after doing a follow-up check.
You could be fined or sent to prison for up to 5 years, if your tenant fails a follow-up check and you don’t report it to the Home Office.
As well as the other Landlord Services that we can provide you, the above checks would ALL be carried out by the Lettings Team at Marshall Vizard, saving you time and giving you peace of mind, that the tenants living in your property are legally entitled to be in the UK.
To find out more about our services call us on 01923 230302