From 1st February 2016 the Government introduced new obligations for managing agencies and landlords to check that their tenants are legally eligible to live in their rented properties. If landlords fail to comply with these new obligations, they could be fined up to £3,000.
There are three types of “rights to rent” under these new obligations:
- Unlimited rights to rent – this applies to British citizens, EEA and Swiss nationals as well as those who have been given the right to remain in the UK;
- Time-limited rights to rent – as the name states, this applies to people who will need documentation to prove that they are entitled to remain in the UK; and
- Those with no right to rent – this applies to everyone else who falls in to neither of the previous categories.
Exceptions to the rule
The only people exempt from these categories are those under the age of 18 and in those circumstances, landlords may allow those tenants to occupy the property but when the child reaches 18, further checks should be carried out in the event of an agreement renewal. Holiday accommodation is also exempt, as long as the letting period is stated in writing as being short term (less than three months) and the tenants will not remain after this period.
Homes owned by local authorities, social housing, care homes, hospitals, hostels and refuges are also excluded, as is tied accommodation, student accommodation and mobile homes.
It is worth noting that if your tenant’s rental agreement started before 1st February 2016, then a landlord is not required to take any action. However, it is recommended that you always carry out due diligence as the responsibility of the scheme falls back to the landlord – and they are the ones who are liable for the fine.
If you would like further information in relation to the new scheme, or you would like to discuss any other issues in relation to property tax or upcoming changes in the sector, then please contact one of the Real Estate team at DMH Stallard today to see how we can help.