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What Is a Right-to-Rent Check? - Essential Living

What Is a Right-to-Rent Check?

Blog Guide to Renting

Early in 2016, the British government introduced a new rule by which landlords have to check that each tenant is eligible to live in the UK – this has to happen before the landlord can rent a space out to a tenant. This means that if you intend to rent a property in the future, you will have to provide your landlord with information that supports your rental application.

These checks are simple and relatively quick, but knowing what to provide before you enter the process will speed up your application.

What Rentals Are Part of the Scheme?

You will be assessed on whether you have the right to rent if you are applying for a residential tenancy. This is any property that involves any licence, lease, sub-lease or sub-tenancy that gives the right for the tenant to occupy the property, demands rental payments, and isn’t excluded from the scheme.

Will You Be Checked?

Landlords have to check the eligibility of all adults who live in the property – that’s everyone over the age of 18. Your landlord has to check if you have a right to rent even if you’re not named on the tenancy agreement, or if there is no tenancy agreement, or if the tenancy agreement isn’t in writing.

To have the right to rent, you must fall within one of these two categories:

  • Unlimited right to rent – you will fall into this category if you are a British citizen, if you are a Swiss national or if you originate from a European Economic Area (EEA). If you don’t fall into one of these categories, the British government can grant you indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which ensures that you have no time-limit on your stay in the UK.
  • Time-limited right to rent you will fall into this category if you are allowed to stay in the UK for a limited amount of time, or if you’re entitled to remain in the UK due to an enforceable right under European Law.

If you’re only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited amount of time, your landlord must carry out these checks 28 days before your tenancy begins. You will only be checked if you’re applying to rent a property in England, which means those applying to rent a property in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland don’t have to worry about completing these checks.

What Documents Are Needed?

When it comes to right-to-rent checks, certain documents have higher authority than others. Providing a more authoritative document as evidence of your right to rent will mean that it only has to be verified once, speeding the process up. These documents include (but aren’t limited to)…

  • A passport (current or expired) that proves British citizenship
  • A passport or national identity card (current or expired) that proves that you are a national of Switzerland or the European Economic Area
  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen

If you cannot provide a single-qualifying document, you may be able to provide a combination of two other documents that prove your right to rent. These can include…

  • A full UK driving licence
  • A full birth or adoption certificate that was issued in the UK
  • A letter issued to you, within the past three months, by a UK government department

For those attempting to establish a time-limited right to rent, the following documents will support your application:

  • A valid passport endorsed to show that you are allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time period
  • A current residence card
  • A current immigration status document
  • A current biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office

For international applicants, it’s worth noting that you might have to repeat the check at a later date to establish that you still have the right to rent. The British government can provide a comprehensive list of documents that can be used to determine your right to rent.

Preparation Is Key

Knowing what to expect from your right-to-rent check will enable you to prepare for it before it happens. Knowing whether or not you will need to be checked and what documents to prepare beforehand will speed up the process. The easiest way to manage the application is to find a landlord who values transparency, as being informed on the involved processes will help you adopt a forward-thinking attitude regarding your rental agreement.

Before you can even consider you right to rent, you have to find the perfect property. We offer premium apartments in connected locations – get in touch for a seamless rental process.

Disclaimer: This blog is not legal advice for you to use in complying with Right to Rent, whether as a landlord or a tenant. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand Right to Rent. You may not rely on this as legal advice or as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding. More information on Right to Rent can be found here:

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