The Right to Rent Scheme was first introduced in the UK under the Immigration Act 2014 and it requires landlords to carry out obligatory Right to Rent Checks before leasing their properties. Failure to do so will result in landlords receiving civil penalties. So far in 2017, more than twice the number of civil penalties have been issued to landlords by the Home Office, which is just another example of the Government’s hostile environment policy and immigration crackdown in the UK.
A Record Number of Right to Rent Checks by the Home Office
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of landlords who have been issued with civil penalties in the UK under the Right to Rent Scheme. From January 2017 to September 2017, a total of 209 civil penalties were issued to landlords, which is more than double than the amount that was handed out in 2016. Further between July 2017 and September 2017, 75% of civil penalties were issued to landlords who had failed to carry out sufficient Right to Rent Checks, which has totalled more than £40,000.
This is a another clear example of the Government’s hostile environment policy, which was created as a way to put an unlawful migrant in a position with little option other than to either leave the UK or submit an immigration and visa application for lawful status in the UK. Schemes such as the Right to Rent, Right to Work and Right to Bank are all designed as a way for the UK to meet Theresa May’s net migration figure to below 100,000, which puts added stress on not only the migrant, but also landlords and employers.
What are Right to Rent Checks?
Whilst there is no one specific way to carry out Right to Rent Checks, Home Office guidance recommends that landlords do the following:
- Establish how many adults intend on residing at the property;
- Landlords must ensure that their tenants have permission to be in the UK lawfully. This can be done by checking visa stamps in passports or requesting for Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs);
- Landlords/agents should make copies of all documents, as it is likely these will be required at a later date of the tenancy; and
- Landlords should ensure all documents are up-to-date and valid, where there are discrepancies within the documents such as different names being used on different documents, landlords/agents should be extra cautious. Supporting documents may be requested to help clarify any discrepancies.
Right to Rent Checks must be carried out in accordance with the requirements set down in the Immigration Act 2014. It is imperative that landlords ensure that these checks are carried out properly and efficiently to avoid heavy fines of up to £3,000 a tenant or even imprisonment. It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure these Right to Rent Checks are carried out.
Using Legal Representation to Comply with the Right to Rent Checks and Regularise your UK Immigration Status
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status ensuring you comply with the Right to Rent Checks. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to assist you with understanding and complying with Right to Rent Checks.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that you comply with Right to Rent Checks.
Successfully Comply with the Right to Rent Checks and Regularise your UK Immigration Status
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and whether you comply with the Right to Rent Checks before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.