Landlords are being reminded that there is less than a month to go before Right to Rent goes live across England. The new law means that from 1 February 2016, landlords will have to carry out checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
From this week landlords can start to carry out Right to Rent checks as these can be done from 28 days before the start of a tenancy agreement.
Immigration minister James Brokenshire said: “Landlords with property in England need to prepare now for the new Right to Rent scheme to ensure they are ready for 1 February.
“Ahead of the scheme’s roll out, we have been working closely with an expert panel to make sure their feedback is taken on board and to design a scheme that is as simple and light touch as possible. Many responsible landlords have already been undertaking similar checks - these are straightforward and do not require any specialist knowledge.
“Right to Rent is part of the Government’s wider reforms to the immigration system to make it stronger, fairer and more effective. Those with a legitimate right to be here will be able to prove this easily and will not be adversely affected. The scheme is about deterring those without the right to live, work or study in the UK from staying here indefinitely.”
Right to Rent was first introduced in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 and the extension to England is the next phase of a nationwide roll out. Landlords, and anybody who sublets or takes in lodgers, could face a financial penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant if they are found to be letting property to someone who has no right to stay in the UK.
The Government has been working with an expert consultative panel, which includes trade bodies, local authorities and charities, to listen to feedback from the first phase of the scheme. The panel has advised on an updated landlords code of practice which includes changes to the acceptable document list to make it even simpler to conduct a check.