All members of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) can now expect to receive free Right to Rent legal expenses when they buy landlord building and contents insurance through Rentguard Insurance.
Right to Rent regulations became effective in England and Wales in February last year and require landlords to check the immigration status of all adult occupiers before the start of a new tenancy to determine whether they have the right to live in the UK legally.
Under terms of the regulations, it is a landlord’s responsibility to check the original documents of anyone who applies to live in their property. The checks must be made prior to the tenants moving in and must be carried out on all potential adult occupiers.
British citizens, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are permitted to live in the UK and have an unlimited Right to Rent.
Nationals of other countries may also have permission to live in the UK either for a limited time or permanently. In most cases they will have a biometric residence permit or visa indicating that they may stay in the UK for a limited period or permanently.
Click here for more details of acceptable documentation.
A maximum penalty of £3,000 per occupier without a Right to Rent in the UK applies while repeat offenders can be tried in the magistrates’ of crown court with an unlimited fine or potentially up to five years in prison.
Rentguard Insurance’s product covers landlords for the legal costs of defending themselves against prosecution under the Right to Rent section of the Immigration Act 2014, subject to certain criteria being met.
Landlords will be covered for advisors’ costs to raise an objection to a civil penalty issued for alleged failure to comply with the requirements of the Immigration Act 2014.
Kim O’Donnell, director of Rentguard Insurance, said: “Our Right to Rent insurance provides added value and peace of mind to RLA members.
“We’ve worked closely with our insurer partners to create a truly unique and pioneering product, not available elsewhere on the market.”