Olly Symonds
Olly Symonds
Associate Director
Fergus Mitchell
Fergus Mitchell
Director
Learn more about the team
Legal

What does Right to Rent mean for me as a tenant?

Right to Rent was introduced under the Immigration Act 2014 and it is really important for both tenants and landlords to understand the implications of this act.

It places restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing rented accommodation in England by making all adult occupants prove they are in the UK legally before being granted a tenancy. This is done through a process called a Right to Rent check. At The Cotswold Letting Agency we partner and trust Let Alliance

What is a Right to Rent check?

This is when a prospective adult occupant of a rental property shows their identity documents in person to a landlord or letting agent. This is a similar checking process to presenting your passport (and visa) to a border control officer at an immigration checkpoint.

As a Letting Agent, The Cotswold Letting Agency must take a copy of the documents seen, and record the check being completed. If a tenant has a time limited right to rent (e.g. a visa or Biometric Residency Permit with an expiry date) then the check must be done within 28 days of the tenancy start date and the visa must be valid for the proposed tenancy start date.

What are our responsibilities?

We must:

  • Check all adult tenants who will live in the property as their only or main home
  • Ask tenants for the original documents that show they have the right to be in the UK
  • Check the original documents with the tenant physically present and ensure they are valid
  • Make copies of the original documents and record when the check was completed
  • Conduct follow up checks at the appropriate time (e.g. repeat the check when a tenant’s visa expires)

If follow up checks reveal that an occupant in a rental property no longer has a valid ‘Right to Rent’ then we must report that person to the Home Office.

What documents are acceptable?

Acceptable documents that a tenant can use to demonstrate their identity and Right to Rent are dependent on their nationality.

Options for British citizens are:

  • combination of valid UK driving licence & original UK birth certificate
  • valid passport

Options for all other nationalities are:

  • valid EEA*/Swiss national ID card (after 30th June 2021 a visa or proof of settlement status granted may be required)
  • combination of passport and valid visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

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