What Is A Right To Rent?
Posted on 24th June 2020
Did you know that as a Landlord is your duty to check that your tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England.
What do you have to do before starting a new tenancy?
Our Conveyancing Solicitors explain that you must check that all the tenants are aged 18 and over, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement or there is no tenancy agreement.
Do I have to check if my tenant is a UK citizen?
Yes. You much check whether any prospective new tenants are either UK citizens or have a right to rent in the UK. It is against the law to only check some people and you must not discriminate against anyone simply because of where they are from. If someone is a Commonwealth Citizen, they may still have the right to rent in the UK if they have the correct documents. You can get more information, here.
My tenant is only allowed in the UK for a limited time, do I still have to do any checks
Yes, you will still need to check that the Tenant is over the age of 18 and it is recommended that you do the check at least 28 days before the start of the tenancy.
Can I rent a property to someone who is not 18?
If you are renting one of the following, then you do not need to check your tenant is over the age of 18:
- Social housing
- Care home, hospice or hospital
- Hostel or refuge
- Mobile home
- Student accommodation
- Accommodation being paid for by a local authority
- Accommodation that is provided as part of the tenant’s job
- Providing a property with a lease that is seven years or longer
The Governments Code of Practice provides more information about this.
How do you check your tenant’s right to rent?
1. Ask your tenants which adults will use the property as their main home
2. Ask them for original documents that prove they can live in the UK (more on this below)
3. Check their documents to see if they have the right to rent the property
4. Check that each tenant’s documents are genuine and belong to them
5. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check
What documents do my tenants need to supply to prove their right to rent?
The documents are split into three groups. Group 1 documents allow the holder a permanent right to rent in the UK, Group 2 documents are documents that must been shown in a combination and these also show an unlimited right to rent and Group 3 documents show a time-barred right to rent in the UK.
Group 1 documents are documents such as a UK passport, Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave or a UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave.
Group 2 documents must be provided as a combination and include documents such as UK birth or adoption certificate, full or provisional driving license, a letter from HM Prison Service or a letter from a UK further or higher education institution.
Group 3 documents show a limited right to rent and such documents include a valid passport, biometric immigration document with permission to stay for a time-limited period or a non-EEA national residence card.
A full Right to Rent document check list can be found, here.
What do I do if my tenant doesn’t have the documents to rent the property?
If your prospective tenant does not have the correct documentation is it imperative that you check with the Home Office. The Home Office will respond to you within 2 working days to confirm whether or not your prospective tenant has “permission to rent”. Our Property Law Solicitors remind you not to rent a property to someone in England if they do not have the right documents and the landlord’s checking service tells you that they are not allowed to rent.
If you want more information about purchasing a buy to let property get in touch with your local Solicitors, MG Legal via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01995 602 129.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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