From 1st February 2016 all private landlords in England, including those subletting or taking in lodgers have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property (whether coming from outside the UK or not). The introduction of the scheme across England follows on from the pilot scheme in the West Midlands in December 2014.

The legislation comes under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 and under the scheme new tenants will fall into 1 of 3 categories: Unlimited Right to Rent, Time Limited Right to Rent and No Right to Rent. The Home Office must be informed of any applicant who does not have the Right to Rent and landlords who breach Section 22 by not carrying out the required checks may be liable for a civil penalty of up to £3000. It is important to note that primary responsibility for carrying out the checks will ultimately lie with the landlord, unless they have transferred this responsibility to a letting agent, by arrangement.

At Moores we have chosen to use HomeLet to establish a tenant’s Right to Rent, on behalf of our existing landlord clients, and it’s already been a very busy start to the year for our lettings team. So far this month we’ve accepted 19 tenancy applications and some of these applicants are looking to move 1st February onwards; so we’ve already started the process of establishing if they have the Right to Rent.

For many busy landlords (particularly those inexperienced) this scheme is yet another example of the hurdles and pitfalls to watch out for when letting out property; particularly for those landlords who have chosen to manage the process themselves. The combined effect of recent changes to the Section 21 notice, new legislation for smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors and new tenancy deposit scheme requirements has seen an increase in the number of enquiries to us from landlords seeking advice and assistance with letting and full management.

If you currently deal with your own property management but would like to know more about our full management services please don’t hesitate to contact Angie Wright at our office on 0113 274 2033.

If you have specific queries about the Right to Rent scheme please feel free to give me a call on 0113 239 9752 and I’ll be more than happy to discuss this with you.

Michael Davies BA (Hons) – Associate Partner