Right to Rent

Well, if the 1st October new legislations wasn’t enough to keep you busy as a landlord then keep your wits about you for the see-able future! Right to Rent is officially being rolled out from 1st February 2016.

What is Right to Rent?

Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord should not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or EEA or Swiss national, or has a ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK. Someone will have the ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK provided they are present lawfully in accordance with immigration laws. Landlords who breach section 22 may be liable for a civil penalty of up to £3000 per tenant and repeated offenders can receive a prison sentence of up to 5 years.

This is an area the Home Office are very keen to get to grips with. The Right to Rent was originally trialled in the west Midlands from 1st December 2014 and interestingly the first six months results to May 2015 showed they unearthed 109 illegal immigrants, of these 109, 63 were unknown and the remaining 46 were known but had disappeared. Of those 109, 9 have been removed from Britain, 5 pending removal, 40 are still being processed, 28 cases are outstanding as asylum applications, 9 have been granted leave to stay in the UK, 6 cases had no further action due to lack of details, 2 were involved in criminal cases, of which 1 was in prison and the final foreigner is now dead, according to the report released by the government.

Of course, all the good landlords and agents are already doing their due diligence and ensuring they have copies of the ID etc. however, the rouge landlords will continue to be rogue and will charge more rent to the illegal immigrant and if housing conditions are very poor, they will not be kept up and the occupants will not be able to complain to any authorities.

So tips, always check original documentation, passports or Biometric Residence Permit, make a note of when visas will run out to recheck their visas have been renewed.

If you need to contact the Government help service, they assure us they will return with a yes or no answer within 2 days. They are also going to make it easier to evict illegal immigrants as part of the Immigration Bill.

For more information please go to Gov.uk and search Right to Rent.

If you would like a friendly, no obligation chat regarding any property matter then please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone 01202 711169.

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