From next Monday, 1 February 2016, the “Right to Rent” scheme will be extended across England. This means that all private landlords in England will have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property.
This scheme will not apply to existing tenancies (nor to renewals of those tenancies) and checks will only need to be carried out on new tenants from the implementation date.
Tied accommodation (where an employee is housed as part of his job) and holiday lets do not fall within the scheme but some licences, sub-tenancies and lodging agreements will be caught. Failure to comply will result in penalties of £3000. Legal advice should be sought if there is doubt about the need to carry out the checks.
CLA Housing Adviser Matthew O’Connell said: “These checks formalise what for many landlords will already be best practice. However it is important to note that landlords are not trained immigration officials, so timely and effective support from the Home Office will be essential to helping landlords comply with these new procedures.
“Proper monitoring of this policy must also be in place as it rolls out nationally to ensure that the time and money spent on the scheme is proportionate to its success.”
More information for CLA members, including details on what can be used as acceptable evidence and how to carry out the checks, can be found in Guidance Note GN 02-16- Residential tenancies – ‘Right to Rent’ scheme to roll out across England from 1 February 2016.