Right to rent: new law
With various industry sources claiming a large number of landlords are not prepared for the introduction of Right To Rent, Fenn Wright is urgently reminding landlords across Essex and Suffolk that the new law comes in to play this week.
The new law means that landlords in England will have to carry out checks to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK. The scheme was first introduced in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 and the extension to England is the next phase of a UK wide roll out.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said: “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.”
Joe Hall, who heads up Fenn Wright’s residential lettings teams explains the Right to Rent checks:
“Life as a landlord can be complicated. Legislation changes seem to be a regular occurrence and keeping on top of them can seem very daunting indeed. It’s really important that landlords are kept up to date with new laws so that they are not at risk of being fined, or in extreme cases, being imprisoned. A good letting agent will make sure their landlords are aware of everything they need to know, with plenty of time to get prepared. When we started making sure our landlords were ready for Right to Rent, we were surprised to find that many incorrectly thought they had until April 2017. And most didn’t realise the new law applies to tenants and lodgers.
So what does a Right To Rent check entail?
• All tenancies must be checked on or after 1st February 2016.
• Landlords must check anybody over the age of 18 who will be using the property as their main home. This includes sub-tenants, tenants and paying house guests.
• Landlords must request to see original documents that permit the tenant to legally live in the UK, and check they are genuine, in front of them. You’ll need to look at the photograph and ensure the birth date is the same across all documents.
• Landlords will then need to retain a copy of the documents and take note of the date that you completed the check.
“All landlords have the responsibility to carry out the necessary checks but we have a robust system in place to make sure we do this as a matter of course for Fenn Wright landlords, so they can have peace of mind.”
If you are an exisiting landlord weighing up the pros and cons of using a letting agent to manage your property and help you navigate the changing laws, take a look at our menu of services and associated fees here.
Or for a chat about choosing the right property and area in which to buy, for capital gain and rental yield, make an appointment with one of our residential lettings managers at your nearest branch. Find out who to speak to here.