Check Your Tenant's Right to Rent
You must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England if their tenancy starts on or after 1 February 2016. If your property is in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley or Wolverhampton, you must make checks on your tenants if their tenancies started on or after 1 December 2014. You can be fined up to £3,000 for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England.
Within 28 days before the start of a new tenancy, you must make checks for:
- people aged 18 and over living in your property, whether they’re named in the tenancy agreement or not
- all types of tenancy agreements, written or oral
Tenants in some types of accommodation (e.g. social housing and care homes) won’t need to be checked. Further details explaining which residential tenancy agreements fall within the scope of the Scheme is provided in the Code of Practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation (PRA) for tenancies. This document is available for download below.
How to make a check
- Check which adults will live at your property as their only or main home.
- See the original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK.
- Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant, with the tenant present.
- Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
Immgration: Right to Rent Checks Resources
You must make a further check on your tenant to make sure they can still stay in the UK if their permission to stay is time limited. You can get a fine (also known as a civil penalty) if you don’t make a further check and your tenant’s permission to stay runs out.
You must make a further check just before either:
- the expiry date of your tenant’s right to stay in the UK
- 12 months after your previous check
You won’t have to make a further check if your tenant doesn’t have any time restrictions on their right to stay in the UK.
If your tenant doesn’t pass a further check you must tell the Home Office if you find out that your tenant can no longer legally rent property in England after making a further check. You might be fined if you don’t. You can choose to evict your tenant if you want to. You must follow the rules for evicting tenants. If you have a lodger, you can choose to end your tenancy agreement with them. How much notice you give your lodger will depend on which type of tenancy they have.
Agents and subletting
You can ask any agents that manage or let your property to carry out the check for you. You should have this agreement in writing.
If a tenant sub-lets the property without you knowing, they’re responsible for carrying out checks on any sub-tenants.
Penalties for illegal renting
You can be fined if you rent your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK and you can’t show that you checked their right to rent.
If a tenant sub-lets the property without you knowing, they’re responsible for carrying out checks on any sub-tenants. They will liable for any civil penalties if they don’t do the check correctly.