Right To Rent Checks Now Law in England

By : Nick Marr

Landlords that let out property in England now face new laws that require them to conduct Right to Rent Checks According to a recent poll, exactly half of private landlords in the UK are still not fully prepared for the new Right to Rent legislation, which will come in to effect on 1st February 2016.

In December 2014, the Right to Rent scheme was piloted across the West Midlands. According to an investigation conducted by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, which surveyed landlords in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton during this time, many landlords admitted to discriminating against those who they suspected to not be from the UK originally.

Right to Rent – see ( TheHouseShop.com for more advice)  which has been sharply criticised from many parts of the lettings sector, for making agents and landlords act as de facto immigration officers – was piloted in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 and the extension to England is the next phase of what the government intends to be a UK-wide roll out.

Landlords in England must carry out the checks in the 28 days leading up to the start of the tenancy and are being reminded that it is likely to take time for the necessary documents to be produced, verified and copied.

These eye-opening statistic will most certainly cause concern for landlords across the country, who may have uncertainties over the official start date of the checks, along with the government, who have implemented the new scheme in order to ensure that all prospective tenants moving to the UK have the right to be in the country.

The initiative has also been put in to place in order to construct a fair immigration system. The data also revealed that a startling 20 percent of private landlords believed they actually had until April 2017 to prepare for the brand new right to rent rules, with 3% of the 5,000 surveyed by urban.co.uk assuming the checks would not be required until 2018. The Right to Rent check scheme has already been trialled in areas across the West Midlands, with only one instance of a landlord failing to comply.

TheHouseShop.com have devised a simple Right to Rent guide, which can be completed by the landlord or on their behalf by an agent (this agreement would need to be confirmed in writing between the two parties). The landlord or agent must obtain official documentation, check to ensure the documents are legitimate and any time statutory requirements are valid and lastly, keep a record of the documents for future reference.  In accordance with the Immigration Act of 2014, a private landlord may be liable of a penalty charge up to the value of £3,000 if they fail to conduct a proper right to rent check on its tenants after the schemes start date. Landlords who are found to ignore the rules multiple times could face up to five years in prison.

Video Guide By TheHouseShop