Landlords – want to avoid a £3,000 fine?

We all keep hearing about the right to rent scheme, but what actually is it and how do I comply with it? Firstly, to keep your attention, if you fail to carry out the right to rent checks you may be hit with a fine of up to £3,000.

The scheme was rolled out across England on 1st February 2016 and it requires Landlords and Agents to check the ID of all prospective adult occupiers. To make it clear and simple (as often these schemes aren’t) here is a brief step by step guide to the Right to Rent Scheme…

  1. Check which applicants over the age of 18 will use your property as their main home (see below for more details).
  2. Ask for original documents that prove the tenant can live in the UK, for example a Passport (Details of documents can be found here).
  3. Check that the tenant’s documents give them the right to rent your property.
  4. Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant (it’s best to do with the tenant present).
  5. Make and keep copies of the documents and then record the date you made the check! (make copies that can’t be changed such as photos or photocopies)

 To check if the property will be the tenants main home look out for these key indicators:

  • They live there most of the time
  • Their family live there with them
  • They register to vote at the property
  • They bring a lot of belongings with them
  • They have registered with a doctor at that address

You also have to ensure that if the person’s right to rent was limited a further check will need to be made 12 months after the initial check. If you discover that the tenant’s right to be in the UK has expired, you need to make an official report to the Home Office.

More information can be found on the Government website and ARLA.

Make sure you and/or your Agent are operating in line with this scheme.

Sources – and

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