Right to Rent – new rules for residential landlords

Published March 1st, 2016

The Right to Rent scheme came into force from in February 2016, meaning that residential landlords in England are now legally required to carry out checks on all new tenants that are renting a property to ensure they have the right to rent a property in the country. The scheme, which also applies to people who are taking in lodgers or subletting their property, was introduced in the Immigration Act 2014.

“Only people with permission or a right to be in the UK have a right to rent property,” said Frances Buckley,  a chartered surveyor at the Northwich office of Berrys.

“If landlords are found letting to someone who does not have the right to be in the UK, and they cannot show that they have made right to rent checks, then they could face a penalty of up to £3,000.”

Landlords are simply required to check identity documents for all new tenants and also take copies. The checks should be fair and consistent, regardless as to whether the landlord believes the prospective tenant to be British, settled or a person with limited permission to be here.

How to make a check:

1. Check which adults over the age of 18 will live at your property as their only or main home.

2. See the original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK.

3. Check that the documents are genuine and belong to the tenant, with the tenant present.

4. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

“Checks should be reassessed if a tenant has only received a temporary right to live in the UK. It is always better to be safe and carry out a follow up check to ensure you are completely compliant,” Frances added.

For more details contact Frances Buckley at the Northwich office of Berrys on: 01606 818957 or  email

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More about Frances Buckley

BSc (Hons) MSc (Hons) MRICS
Chartered Surveyor
Tel: 01606 818957
Mobile: 07500 338346

Fran joined Berrys following the completion of a Masters in Business Management, and an honours degree in Equine Science at Aberystwyth University. In November 2014 Fran qualified and became a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, she is currently working towards becoming a fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

Fran works with private and corporate clients, preparing tenancies and conducting rent reviews, as well as tackling every aspect of the equestrian side of the business. She undertakes valuations for charitable organisations under the Section 119 requirements as well as carrying out valuations for inheritance tax purposes for private clients and right to buy valuations for housing associations. Fran also negotiates sales of land for private and corporate clients and is responsible for managing the letting of property from the Northwich office, from houses, flats, shops, offices to land and buildings.