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How do I check that a tenant has the Right to Rent in the UK?


The Immigration Act 2014 imposed on all landlords in England (including lodger landlords) the obligation to find out whether the proposed occupants have a ‘right to rent’ property in the UK.

The regulations do not apply – at the moment – in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The need to carry the checks out in person was suspended at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, although landlords with properties in England must still perform Right to Rent checks online.

The government plans to revert to requiring landlords to perform in-person checks from 1st September 2021.

What You Need to Do

Landlords must check whether potential tenants or lodgers (occupants) have the Right to Rent in the UK by inspecting certain documents in their presence. 

You need to keep copies of those documents.

When You Need to Do the Check

You are supposed to perform the check before the tenant moves into the property.

In some cases, follow-up checks may be required.

Penalties for Landlords Who Fail to Perform Right to Rent Checks

If you let tenants move in without doing the check, you are taking a risk. If the Home Office later find that the tenants do not have the right to live in the UK, then you will be at risk of a penalty fine or prison time.

Our referencing service includes Right to Rent guidance based on the documents the tenant provides.

We’re not legally allowed to do the checks for you, but the guidance in our referencing reports is the next best thing.

Our referencing service is industry-leading, and – at only £20 – much cheaper than a fine, prison sentence, or void period caused by a bad tenant!

Make sure your tenant has the Right to Rent in the UK.

Order Tenant Referencing Now

You can also find full government guidance on performing the check here.


Start the discussion at community.openrent.co.uk


This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.