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What is Right to Rent?


We answer an important question ‘What is Right to Rent?’

‘What is Right to Rent?’ Right to Rent places restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing rented accommodations in England. This is done by making all adult occupants prove that they are in the UK legally before they are granted a tenancy. This can be checked by a process called Right to Rent check. Therefore it is important for both landlords and tenants to know this act.

What is Right to Rent check?

This is when an adult occupant of a rental property shows their identity documents in person to a landlord or letting agent. The landlord/letting agent must take a copy of the documents seen, and record the check being done. A tenant might have a time limited right to rent because their Visa has an expiry date. This means that, the check must be done within 28 days of the tenancy start date and the visa must be valid for the tenancy start date.

What are the landlord’s/agent’s responsibilities?

The landlord/agent must:

  • Check that the property is the only/main home of the adult tenants who live there
  • Ask tenants for the original documents of proof that they have the right to be in the UK
  • Check the original documents with the tenants being physically present to ensure they are valid
  • Make copies of the documents and record when the check was done
  • Do follow up checks at necessary times (e.g. when a tenant’s visa expires)

If follow up checks reveal that an occupant in a rental property no longer has a valid ‘Right to Rent’ then the landlord/agent must report that person to the Home Office.

What documents are acceptable?

Acceptable documents that a tenant can use to show their identity and Right to Move depends on their nationality.

Options for EEA*/Swiss citizens are:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid EEA/Swiss national ID card
  • Combination of valid UK driving licence and original UK birth certificate (if tenant is a British citizen)

*Countries in the EEA are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden & the UK

Options for all other nationalities are:

  • a combination of passport and a valid visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

What are the results if I don’t have the documents?

If any adult occupant not able to present themselves and their original documents proving a valid Right to Rent then all occupants may be denied access to the property until this requirement is satisfied.

We hope this answers your question ‘What is Right to Rent?’.  If you are looking to rent a property in Central London, please visit Greater London Properties, Central London’s largest independent estate agent or call us on 0207 113 1066.


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