A Review of Landlords’ Right to Rent Obligations

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The Immigration Act 2014 saw the introduction of new Right to Rent obligations for landlords and managing agents, who are now required to check that their tenants are legally eligible to live in the rented property. Failure to comply could see landlords fined up to £3,000 and following The Immigration Act 2016 amendments, possibly convicted of a criminal offence.

18 months on from the Act, the House of Commons briefing paper has highlighted concerns about private landlords’ awareness of these duties.

There are three types of ‘rights to rent’ under the 2014 Act:

  • The ‘unlimited’ right to rent which applies to British citizens, EES and Swiss nationals and those who have been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
  • The ‘time-limited’ right to rent which applies to those who are entitled to remain in the UK for a defined period of time; and
  • Those remaining who have no right to rent.

There are, however, exceptions to these categories. These include those under the age of 18 and holiday lettings.

Landlords may allow people under 18 years old to occupy the property without making enquiries of their ‘right to rent’ status but landlords should be aware that when the child reaches the age of 18 further checks will then be required if the tenancy agreement is to be renewed.

Holiday lettings are also excluded providing the period for letting is less than three months and there is no option for the tenants to stay beyond this period.

Landlords and letting agents be warned!

Our Property Law specialists at Trinity Chambers offer legal advice and mediation services across Harlow, Brentwood, Chelmsford and other parts of Essex. Get in touch with our clerk team who will match your case to one of our barristers. Call us on 01245 605040 or email clerks@trinitychambers.com.

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