Before a new tenancy can begin, there are are some checks you have to do. You may already be aware of all your obligations, but if you're not, or you need to refresh your memory, you've come to the right place.
Right to rent check
The Immigration Act 2014 introduced new restrictions that apply to private residential rental agreements. Before you accept a new tenant, you’re required to perform a check that they have the right to live and rent in the UK.
Before the start of a new tenancy, you must check all tenants aged 18 and over, even if:
- they’re not named on the tenancy agreement,
- there’s no tenancy agreement, and
- the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing
You’ll need to check all new tenants.
If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, you need to do the check in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy.
You can use the Home Office online checking service to check someone’s right to rent if your tenant:
- has a valid biometric residence card or permit (BRC/P)
- has settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
- has an eVisa
You can also check someone’s original documents instead - for example if you do not have a share code. Follow the guidance on the Government website on how to do this.
To help you comply with the legislation, the Government have published a step-by-step guide to completing the checks.
From 1 July 2021, the Government updated their guidelines after the EU Settlement Scheme deadline passed. They have published a factsheet to help landlords learn about what they need to do to check the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are or prospective tenants from 1 July 2021.
You can also obtain more information about the act and your obligations here:
Rent Smart Wales
If you’re a landlord or letting agent in Wales, you’re probably aware that the Welsh Government has separate rules and regulations for the Welsh Private Rented Sector (PRS), under The Housing (Wales) Act 2014.
The main change is mandatory registration and licensing through their Rent Smart scheme. The deadline for landlords and agents to register was 23 November 2016 and now, if you’re operating in Wales without a licence, you may be breaking the law.
Find out more about Rent Smart Wales.