Landlords across the country will be affected by new legislation which came into force in February. Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 took effect from the 1st of February 2016 making it illegal for private landlords to let their properties to anyone who does not have the 'right to rent' in the UK. Landlords who breach the new rules may be liable for civil penalties of up to £3,000.
All landlords - or their agent acting on their behalf - must conduct initial right to rent checks before authorising any adult to rent their property. These checks can only be undertaken and recorded up to 28 days prior to the tenancy agreement coming
The checks entail meeting any potential adult tenant in person with their original versions of one or more acceptable documents - such as a passport, permanent residence card or current immigration status document - and checking and keeping copies of the documents to confirm whether the prospective tenant has an unlimited right to rent, a time-limited right to rent or no right to rent.
In cases where there is a time-limited right to rent, landlords must conduct follow-up checks at the appropriate date. Should follow-up checks indicate the occupant no longer has a right to rent in the UK then the landlord or their agent must submit a report to the Home Office and failure to do so can result in a fine of £3,000.