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The Law Society - Conveyancing







“Right to Rent” checks introduced by the Immigration Act 2014

From 1st February 2016, all private-sector landlords in England must check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property to them following the coming into force of the Immigration Act 2014. The new law will apply mainly in respect of Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

Landlords are advised to check that their tenant’s immigration status under the Immigration Act 2014 does not disqualify them from renting. A person will be disqualified if they are not a British Citizen or a national of an EEA State or of Switzerland and if they do not have a right to rent. Certain exemptions do apply. Landlords must obtain evidence of the identity and citizenship of any occupier over 18 and retain copies of the identification for 1 year after the tenancy ends.

Landlords must check the immigration status of every potential adult occupier of the property before it is let, even if they are not named on the Tenancy Agreement. It is advisable to keep a record of these checks.

At the same time, you should be alert to the potential for discrimination and therefore every potential tenant should be treated the same.

There is a civil penalty for breach whereby landlords and their agents could face fines of up to £3,000 per tenant.


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