Sussex Property Market View
Right to Rent
Hot on the heels of the legislation regarding Section 21 changes and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rental properties is the Immigration Act 2014. This sets out requirements for landlords to check their tenants and people occupying their properties have a ‘right to rent’.
Following a trial of the legislation in other areas of the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that Right to Rent legislation covering lettings to immigrants would come into effect at some point this autumn.
If a landlord does not perform the identity and visa checks required for their tenants and other adults who will live in the property, they could be fined up to £3,000 or face a prison sentence.
So who can rent a UK property?
- British citizens
- Individuals with leave to enter and remain in the UK (however this leave must not expressly prohibit them from renting property in the UK)
- Nationals of the European Economic Area states
- Swiss nationals
Landlords must not allow adults to occupy the property if they are disqualified as a result of their immigration status. If someone rents the property and then loses their right to rent (or live in the property) due to their immigration status then the landlord can no longer allow them to remain in the property – to do so is in breach of the Act.
To be in breach of the Act, a landlord must be negligent. A landlord must be able to demonstrate the appropriate checks were made on the adults living in the property. It is not sufficient for the tenancy agreement to exclude those who do not have the correct immigration status from occupancy.
If you would like advice on your obligations as a landlord under ‘Right to Rent’, please contact our Lettings Team on 01903 744166 and they will be able to assist.
Posted on 21 September 2015
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