Right to Rent Document Checking Wizard




Important, please read first:

This currently only applies to England (February 2016).

The check is the same for all prospective tenants, lodgers and occupiers who will live at the property, using it as their main home.

You should ideally allow 28 days before start of tenancy or licence in case further evidence is needed, especially if you know the person is likely to have limited right - e.g. a student coming from overseas.

The Immigration Act 2016 has given the Home Office powers to serve notice on landlords ordering them to serve 28 days notice to quit if none of the adult occupants have a right to rent. The notice the landlord serves carries the authority of the High Court meaning the landlord (in the case of tenants) only has to instruct a high court enforcement officer to carry out the eviction if the tenant or any occupants refuse to move out after the 28 days. If the tenant is letting under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), this same Act also removes the AST status and the tenant's protection from eviction.

If there is more than one occupier under an AST, but some occupiers have the right to rent but at least one other doesn't, the Act introduces a new ground 7b under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 to end the tenancy. The Housing Act does not cover lodger (licence) agreements or common law tenancies (a "granny flat" type arrangement) so a maximum of one month's notice to quit, provided the circumstances justify this, is normally all that is required in either of these cases. However, anyone setting up a new lodger or common law tenancy agreement would be wise to include a clause stating that should a lodger or tenant or permitted occupier lose their right to rent status during any fixed term the agreement will be terminated.

From 1 December 2016 failure to establish a statutory excuse as a responsible person (landlord or agent) will now be a criminal offence, which in edition to fines, introduces a prison sentence of up to five years for anyone who knowingly lets to one or more individuals without the right to rent, fails to re-check a lodger, tenant or other permitted occupier who has a temporary right to rent, fails to inform the Home Office if an occupant's right to rent has expired or fails to take reasonable steps to evict an occupier that he/she knows or should know has no current right to rent.

Right to rent does not apply to any renter or occupier who will simply stay at the property, however regularly; e.g. a midweek lodger or a tenant renting short term holiday accommodation who has a main home elsewhere.

Remember, this applies to all individuals over 18 at the time of the check, who are paying you rent for their main home, or a member of the household of someone who is.

Any of the documents listed below (or combination, where appropriate) are valid, but these must be originals or failing that certified copies and they should be checked in front of the applicant, photographed, scanned or copied and returned to them. Specific details on what to do after you've verified the document(s) will be given at the end this wizard.

In compliance with the Immigration Act 2014, it is best practice to check and make copies of the documents in front of your applicant. However, this isn't always possible (typically when it's a student from abroad) so therefore the next best thing is to video call (e.g. via Skype) and have them post you their original documents, or failing that, certified copies (they can get this done by a notary or lawyer). The actual wording of the Act is, “if a document contains a photograph, satisfy themselves that the photograph is of the occupier or prospective occupier;”.

Use this wizard to guide you through the whole process; NB you will need an internet connection while you do the check.





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LIST A, GROUP 1: just ONE document from list below proves indefinite right to rent:

  • British passport marked "Citizen" example of Czech citizen's ID card

  • British passport marked other than "Citizen" but also endorsed "right of abode" or "indefinite leave to remain".view sample & get more info

  • EEA or Swiss National Passport view sample & get more info

  • EEA or Swiss National ID Card example of Czech citizen's ID card

  • Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen view sample & get more info

  • Registration Cert or document attesting permanent residence EEA/Swiss national view sample & get more info

  • Permanent Residence card issued to non EEA/Swiss national related to EEA/Swiss national with unlimited right to remain view sample & get more info

  • Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave to remain view sample & get more info

  • Passport or travel document endorsed with unlimited leave to remain NB can be British Passport as per first example above. view sample & get more info

  • UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave to remainview sample & get more info

An expired document is acceptable.

If main document shows a different name, a document showing the change of name, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or deed poll must be presented too. Otherwise, neither right to rent, nor identity, is proved and the onus is on the applicant to provide further documents as evidence.

EEA (European Economic Area) is all 28 EU member states, including UK, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

For the the record, the UK is not part of the Schengen (open border) area.





LIST A, GROUP 2: any TWO documents from this group proves indefinite right to rent:

  • UK birth certificate view sample & get more info

  • UK adoption certificate view sample & get more info

  • Full or provisional UK driving licence view sample & get more info

  • Evidence of current or previous service in UK armed forces view sample & get more info

  • A letter from a UK Government Department or Local Authority

  • A letter from a police force confirming that certain documents have been reported stolen view sample & get more info

  • A letter from a private rented sector access scheme view sample & get more info

  • A letter of attestation from an employer, which should give employee reference number and/or the employee's national insurance number view sample & get more info

  • A letter from a UK further or higher education institution view sample & get more info

  • A letter of attestation from a UK passport holder, dated not more than 3 months before landlord check, being a professional or holding a responsible position in the community (e.g. doctor, dentist, teacher, clergyman, solicitor, director of limited company, someone holding an honour such as an MBE). Must include their name, address, passport number, profession and place of work, as well as how long they have known the tenant and in what capacity (which must be longer than 3 months). view sample & get more info

  • Benefits paperwork NB Jobcentre Plus was dissolved on 4 October 2011. The date on the document must not be older than 3 months view sample & get more info

  • Disclosure and Barring Certificate ("criminal record check") certificate cannot be older than 3 months view sample & get more info


Letters

  • Any letter should be dated no earlier than 3 months before the landlord check.
  • The letter must be signed by a named official (unless it's a personal letter by a professional who knows tenant).
  • The letter contains the organisation’s logo (unless it's a personal letter, as above) .
  • The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
  • The letter can be signed in ink, or signature can be a printed facsimile.




LIST B: any ONE of these document proves TIME LIMITED right to rent:

  • A valid passport endorsed with a time‑limited period to remain NB this COULD be a British passport; only Citizens can be assumed to have right of abode. view sample & get more info

  • Biometric immigration document with permission to stay for time-limited period view sample & get more info

  • Non-EEA national residence card view sample & get more info

  • UK immigration status document with a time-limited endorsement from Home Office view sample & get more info

If this shows a different name, additional proof such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or deed poll must be presented too. Otherwise, neither right to rent, nor identity, is proved and the onus is on the applicant to provide further documents as evidence.

EEA (European Economic Area) is all 28 EU member states, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

For the the record, the UK is not part of the Schengen (open border) area.




LIST A, GROUP 1: just ONE document from list below proves indefinite right to rent:

  • British passport marked "citizen"example of Czech citizen's ID card

  • British passport marked other than "Citizen" but also endorsed "right of abode" or "indefinite leave to remain".view sample & get more info

  • EEA or Swiss National Passport view sample & get more info

  • EEA or Swiss National ID Card example of Czech citizen's ID card

  • Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen view sample & get more info

  • Registration Cert or document attesting permanent residence EEA/Swiss national view sample & get more info

  • Permanent Residence card issued to non EEA/Swiss national related to EEA/Swiss national with unlimited right to remain view sample & get more info

  • Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave to remain view sample & get more info

  • Passport or travel document endorsed with unlimited leave to remain NB can be British Passport as per first example above. view sample & get more info

  • UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave to remainview sample & get more info

For more examples of EEA passports and travel documents, and further guidance, visit PRADO (Public Register of Authentic travel and identity documents Online).

An expired document is acceptable.

If main document shows a different name, a document showing the change of name, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or deed poll must be presented too. Otherwise, neither right to rent, nor identity, is proved and the onus is on the applicant to provide further documents as evidence.

EEA (European Economic Area) is all 28 EU member states, including UK, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

For the the record, the UK is not part of the Schengen (open border) area.





LIST A, GROUP 2: any TWO documents from this group proves indefinite right to rent:

  • UK birth certificate view sample & get more info

  • UK adoption certificate view sample & get more info

  • Full or provisional UK driving licence view sample & get more info

  • Evidence of current or previous service in UK armed forces view sample & get more info

  • Disclosure and Barring Certificate ("criminal record check") certificate cannot be older than 3 months view sample & get more info

  • A letter from a UK Government Department or Local Authority

  • A letter from a police force confirming that certain documents have been reported stolen view sample & get more info

  • A letter from a private rented sector access scheme view sample & get more info

  • A letter of attestation from an employer, which should give employee reference number and/or the employee's national insurance number view sample & get more info

  • A letter from a UK further or higher education institution view sample & get more info

  • A letter of attestation from a UK passport holder, dated not more than 3 months before landlord check, being a professional or holding a responsible position in the community (e.g. doctor, dentist, teacher, clergyman, solicitor, director of limited company, someone holding an honour such as an MBE). Must include their name, address, passport number, profession and place of work, as well as how long they have known the tenant and in what capacity (which must be longer than 3 months). view sample & get more info

  • Benefits paperwork NB Jobcentre Plus was dissolved on 4 October 2011. The date on the document must not be older than 3 months view sample & get more info

Letters

  • Any letter should be dated no earlier than 3 months before the landlord check.
  • The letter must be signed by a named official (unless it's a personal letter by a professional who knows tenant).
  • The letter contains the organisation’s logo (unless it's a personal letter, as above) .
  • The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
  • The letter can be signed in ink, or signature can be a printed facsimile.




LIST B: any ONE of these document proves TIME LIMITED right to rent:

  • A valid passport endorsed with a time‑limited period to remain NB this COULD be a British passport; only Citizens can be assumed to have right of abode. view sample & get more info

  • Biometric immigration document with permission to stay for time-limited period view sample & get more info

  • Non-EEA national residence card view sample & get more info

  • UK immigration status document with a time-limited endorsement from Home Office view sample & get more info

If this shows a different name, additional proof such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or deed poll must be presented too. Otherwise, neither right to rent, nor identity, is proved and the onus is on the applicant to provide further documents as evidence.

EEA (European Economic Area) is all 28 EU member states, together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

For the the record, the UK is not part of the Schengen (open border) area.




For more examples of EEA passports and travel documents, and further guidance, visit PRADO (Public Register of Authentic travel and identity documents Online).

Further samples of documents and information on right to rent checks can also be found on the government Right to Rent Check Guide.

HELP! Time shown is too short for a rental agreement, I have no valid document or I'm still not sure

In which case, take copies of any documents you are given, ask the applicant to verify copies as true likeness (by email or signing and dating paper copy), tell applicant you need to check the documents further (after all, this a brand new procedure!) but you will get back to them very shortly, then click button below for further help.