As discussed in our previous blog the new Immigration Act 2014 brings in new requirements for landlords and their agents to check the immigration status of all prospective tenants before any tenancy agreement is entered into. There are permanent and limited rights of residence and different requirements apply to each category.
Permanent Right to Rent
The following have a permanent Right to Rent:
- British citizens; European Economic Area nationals (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.); and Swiss nationals,
- People who have a right of abode in the UK; who have been granted indefinite leave to remain; or have no time limit on their stay in the UK
Limited Right to Rent
The following have only a limited Right to Rent:
Those who are not British citizens, EEA or Swiss nationals who have
- valid leave to enter or remain in the UK for a limited period of time
- are entitled to enter or remain in the UK as a result of Acts of Parliament, European Union Treaties and Immigration Regulations (eg family members of EEA nationals). However, some family members of EEA nationals may be able to demonstrate an unlimited right to rent.
The checks last for 12 month period from the date that the Landlord makes the checks. However, where the tenant has a limited Right to Rent, based on the expiry of their limited leave to remain, the Landlord must make a note of the date of the expiry of their leave to remain and then make a further check at least 28 days prior to this date to ensure that they have continuing leave to remain. If the further checks reveal the Tenant has lost the Right to Rent then the Landlord is under a legal obligation to report this to the Home Office immediately.
The following lists are guidance for what documents can be accepted for each category:
List A – British, EEA, Swiss Nationals or those with an indefinite right to be in the UK
Group 1 – Any one of these documents will prove indefinite right to rent
- A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the right of abode in the UK.
- A passport or national identity card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
- A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of a European Union, European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A permanent residence card, indefinite leave to remain, indefinite leave to enter or no time limit card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.
- A biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK. The document must be valid (not expired) at the time the right to rent check is made.
- A passport or other travel document (current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
- A current immigration status document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is permitted to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK. The document must be valid (not expired) at the time the right to rent check is made.
- A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.
Group 2 – Any two of these documents will prove indefinite right to rent
- A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder’s parents or adoptive parents.
- A letter issued within the last 3 months confirming the holder’s name, issued by a UK government department or local authority and signed by a named official (giving their name and professional address), or signed by a British passport holder (giving their name, address and passport number), or issued by a person who employs the holder (giving their name and company address) confirming the holder’s status as an employee.
- A letter from a UK police force confirming the holder is a victim of crime and personal documents have been stolen, stating the crime reference number, issued within the last 3 months.
- Evidence (identity card, document of confirmation issued by one of HM forces, confirmation letter issued by the Secretary of State) of the holder’s previous or current service in any of HM’s UK armed forces.
- A letter from HM Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service or the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirming the holder’s name, date of birth, and that they have been released from custody of that service in the past 3 months; or a letter from an officer of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, an officer of a local authority in Scotland or an officer of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer.
- Letter from a UK further or higher education institution confirming the holder’s acceptance on a course of studies.
- A current full or provisional UK driving licence.
- A current UK firearm or shotgun certificate.
- Disclosure and Barring Service certificate issued within the last 3 months.
- Benefits paperwork issued by HMRC, Local Authority or a Job Centre Plus, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions or the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development, within the 3 months prior to commencement of tenancy.
List B – Time limited Right to Rent
List B – any one of these documents will be sufficient to establish a time limited right to rent.
Documents where a time-limited statutory excuse is established
- A valid passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK for a time-limited period.
- A current biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office to the holder, which indicates that the named person is permitted to stay in the UK for a time limited period.
- A current residence card (including an accession residence card or a derivative residence card) issued by the Home Office to a non-EEA national who is either a family member of an EEA or Swiss national or has a derivative right of residence.
- A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK for a time-limited period.
- In the case that the person has an ongoing application with the Home Office, or their documents are with the Home Office, or they claim to have a discretionary right to rent, an email from the Landlords Checking Service providing a “yes” response to a right to rent request. This will only be sent to the landlord by the Landlords Checking Service.
Landlords can also call 0300 069 9799 which is a dedicated number for the checking of documentation.
Although correct at the time of publication, the contents of this newsletter/blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Please contact us for the latest legal position.