Right to Rent

From 1st February 2016, landlords and letting agents in England are required to check the immigration status of all adult tenants before the start of a new tenancy to determine whether they have the right to live in the UK legally.

We've improved our reports to help our landlords and letting agent customers remain compliant with the new legislation. Our Full Profile service will establish if a tenant has a permanent or time limited right to rent and advise you of the steps you must take to remain compliant.

You are able to scan and validate UK and international passports, visas and biometric residence permits for all tenants in your user account to carry out a free Right to Rent check.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a legal requirement to check the original document in the presence of the holder and retain a copy.

We have answered the questions we are frequently asked about Right to Rent on this page. If your question is not answered on this page please feel free to contact us.

What do I need to do?

Under the new regulations, from 1st February 2016, letting agents or landlords must check original documentation of anyone who applies to rent a property. The checks must be carried out on all potential adult occupiers of the property and must be made before the tenants move in.

There are 4 basic steps to ensure compliance:

  1. Establish who will be living in the property
  2. Obtain original versions of the acceptable documents for all adult occupiers
  3. Check the documents in the presence of the holder
  4. Make copies of the documents, date them and keep them safe

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Who has a right to rent in the UK?

British citizens, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals are permitted to live in the UK and have an unlimited right to rent.

The EEA countries 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 and the UK.

Nationals of other countries may also have permission to live in the UK either for a limited time or permanently. In most cases they will have a biometric residence permit or visa indicating that they may stay in the UK for a limited period or permanently.

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What documents are acceptable?

There are two lists of acceptable documents.

List A contains documents which are acceptable from those who have a permanent right to rent in the UK. In most cases this will be a passport or national identity card but there are other possibilities and document combinations.

List B contains documents which are acceptable from those who have a time limited right to reside in the UK. In most cases, this will be a biometric residence permit or visa. Follow up checks are required if a document from List B is presented.

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What should I check on the documents?

You should check that the original documents appear genuine and show no signs of being tampered with and that they belong to the holder. Take care to ensure that photographs and dates of birth are consistent across the documents and with the person’s appearance. If the document shows an expiry date of leave to remain in the UK, check this date has not passed.

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How do I upload and validate the documents on your site?

From 1st February, once the tenant details have been added to our system you can upload and validate ID documents. UK or international passports, EU ID cards, biometric residence permits or visa documents can be scanned by clicking on the globe icon next to the relevant tenant in your applications list.

After the image has been processed the result of the Right to Rent check will be stored in your account and date stamped to show compliance with the legislation. If you wish, you can print the result or save as a PDF file.

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How long should I keep the copy documents for?

All copies of documents taken should be kept for the duration of the tenancy agreement and for at least one year thereafter. We will date stamp and securely store all documents uploaded to our site for 3 years unless you delete them at an earlier date.

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Do I need to conduct follow-up checks?

There is no need to carry out any follow-up checks for tenants that have a permanent right to rent.

You must carry out follow up checks on all tenants that have a time-limited right to rent a property. The follow-up check should be carried out up to 28 days before the expiry of the initial 12 month period or at the end of their permitted stay in the UK (whichever is longer).

If you have uploaded a visa or residence permit with an expiry date to your user account we will send you a reminder email when you need to carry out the follow-up check.

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What support do I have?

We have a dedicated client support team on hand to answer any questions you may have about Right to Rent or any other referencing queries.

FLS Referencing - Support

T: 01227 257 777
E: support@tenantref.co.uk

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