The landscape of Right to Rent checks has undergone a significant transformation, with fines for non-compliance skyrocketing and new regulations coming into effect on 13th February 2024. In our blog, we break down the crucial information that landlords and letting agents need to navigate the updated Right to Rent framework in England.

Understanding Right to Rent Checks:

Right to Rent checks are crucial in preventing illegal rentals to individuals without lawful immigration status. Landlords and agents must conduct thorough referencing checks and keep accurate records to avoid fines for non-compliance.

Categories of Right to Rent:

Applicants fall into two categories – those with “unlimited Right to Rent” (British and Irish citizens, EU Settled Status holders, and those with the “right of abode”) and those with a “time-limited Right to Rent” (including pre-settled status individuals). It is essential to understand the distinctions and conduct follow-up checks for time-limited tenants.

Key Changes from February 2024:

Effective from 13th February, fines for non-compliance have witnessed a drastic increase. First-time breaches incur fines of £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier, with repeat offences facing penalties of £10,000 and £20,000, respectively.

What do I need for Right to Rent Checks?

1. Manual Check: Landlords must inspect original documents in the presence of applicants, ensuring authenticity and matching identities. Records of these checks must be maintained for at least a year after the tenancy ends.

2. Home Office Landlord Checking Service: When applicants lack the necessary documents, landlords can use this service. A record of the application certificate must be kept until a response is received.

3. Home Office Online Service: Applicants with biometric residence cards, settled or pre-settled status, or eVisas can use this service. Landlords can conduct checks via video call, saving the profile page as evidence.

4. B5JSSK Citizens: Special considerations apply to citizens from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, or the USA. Evidence of arrival within the last six months is required, with a follow-up check after twelve months.

Digital Checks with Certified ID Validation:

As of April 6, 2022, landlords can use certified Identity Service Providers with Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) for digital Right to Rent checks on British and Irish citizens. Tenants can opt for this process, providing images of their documents remotely.

This blog serves as a general guide and is not a substitute for legal advice. For further details, please refer to the official resources available at gov.uk.

About Lansdown Insurance Brokers

Lansdown Insurance Brokers are specialists in Landlords InsuranceBlock of Flats Insurance and Home Insurance. We can provide flexible policies to suit individual client needs and provide advice on what cover is needed. For more information call the team on 01242 524498.

Lansdown is part of the Benefact Group, a charity-owned, international family of financial services companies that gives all available profits to charity and good causes.

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