The Home Office has this week announced rollout across England of Right to Rent checks as part of the Immigration Act 2014.
The new measures mean that anyone allowing a tenancy to begin after 1 February 2016 (or 1 December 2014 for properties in the trial area of Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Dudley where the scheme was first piloted) must, if asked, be able to produce evidence that they have seen and made copies of acceptable ID prior to the start of the tenancy.
Who will be affected by the new legislation?
The new laws will apply to landlords, occupiers who sublet and resident householders who take in lodgers.
For many lettings agents who already work to a high professional standard, this does not represent a drastic change. Understanding who is living in a property that you are letting is fundamental to good management procedures and avoiding problems further down the line.
What further changes are coming to Right to Rent?
The scheme has been criticised for fostering discrimination and for persecuting people who have a valid right to rent but do not have a current passport or driving licence. The list of accepted identification is being modified to address this issue.
What are the penalties for Right to Rent?
Civil penalties have so far been issued to seven landlords in the trial area, a small number given the scale of work that has gone into the scheme.
However national rollout will mean that there is less opportunity for those without the Right to Rent to be displaced to neighbouring areas and the likelihood is that more fines – escalating to £3,000 per illegal occupier for landlords who repeat offend – will be issued.
Find out more
To find out more speak to your local ARLA Licensed agent or see details of how to conduct right to rent checks on gov.uk