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Planned Update for Right to Rent

Posted by Jennifer Jameson on May 13, 2016
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The government have announced they are planning to update the right to rent guidance.

Since being enforced in February 2016, the controversial right to rent guidance has received mixed responses from Landlords. 72% of landlords claimed to not understand their obligations under right to rent. This figure is from  a survey conducted by Residential Landlord Association, commonly referred to as the RLA.

Landlord’s obligations are as follows:

  • You must check all tenants can legally reside in the United Kingdom
  • You must check all tenants are over the age of 18, even if there is no tenancy agreement, or if the tenancy agreement is not made in writing, or if they are not named on the agreement.
  • You must check ALL tenants, not just those who you think are not British citizens.
  • You need to do this check 28 days before the start of the tenancy if the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited period of time.

However, landlords will not need to check tenants in some types of accommodation: For example, social housing and care homes.

Under Right to Rent, landlords can be fined up to £3,000 for letting their property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England. However, a small victory was achieved in March. The government amended the scheme so that landlords will now be allowed to take steps to terminate tenancies within an appropriate timeframe. This is applicable, should they find out their tenant is residing illegally in the UK. Before this change, landlords would be immediately criminalised.

The RLA is now asking for anyone who would like to share their experiences, to email campaigns@rla.org.uk, where responses will be passed on to the government.

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