If you are renting out a property, you are responsible for checking if your tenant has the “right to rent”. This means they must be “present lawfully in accordance with immigration laws.” You must check all tenants or lodgers aged 18 and over, even if:
- The tenant is not named on the tenancy agreement
- There is no tenancy agreement or it isn’t in writing
It is illegal to only check tenants that you think aren’t British citizens, you must check all your tenants so as to not discriminate.
Checking the “right to rent”
The first step is to establish the adults who will live at the property as their only or main home.
Next, you will need to ask for original documents that prove they can live in the United Kingdom. You will need to check that these documents (in the presence of the holders of the documents) mean they have the “right to rent” and make follow-up checks after 12 months or when the right expires.
The landlord of a residential property is obligated to carry out the “right to rent” checks. As the checks are extensive and quite complicated, a majority of landlords enlist estate agents to do them on their behalf.
Your tenants do not have the “right to rent”
If all of your tenants fail your checks, then you can legally evict them. Landlords may serve a 28-day notice to quit to the tenants meaning they must vacate the property within those 28 days. If they have failed to vacate within the allotted time, Enforcement Agents can be instructed to remove the tenants using reasonable force.
Able Investigations and Enforcements can help with the eviction process if you discover that your tenants do not have the “right to rent”. Our team has years of experience in dealing with tenants without the “right to rent” and can advise and implement the best course of action. For more information about our process serving in Bristol and how we could help you, please call us on 0345 366 0000 or fill in our contact form.