As a landlord, you are faced with all kinds of decisions and responsibilities. Choosing reliable tenants that will pay their rent on time, will respect the property, and leave it in the condition it was in they moved in are paramount in finding that perfect tenant. As a landlord, it’s also very important for you to perform a right to rent check before renting out the property. One of the key things you want to check for is whether or not that prospective tenant has a legal right to rent a property in the UK.

Who should you be checking? What should you be looking for? And what are your rights? Here’s a closer look.

Who Should You Do a Right to Rent Check On?

The very first issue you will want to address is which tenants you should be performing a right to rent check on, particularly here in the North East. As mentioned, one of the most important things you want to check for is that the tenant is allowed to remain in the UK.

According to Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014, landlords are not allowed to let their property to those who don’t have permission to live in the UK. This is referred to as the “right to rent” and it falls upon your shoulders as a landlord to check this. If you fail to check whether a tenant is allowed to rent here and they don’t, in fact, have a right to remain in the UK, then you could be facing prison time or a hefty fine. It’s not something you want to take a chance on, so it’s best to ensure each prospective candidate is allowed to rent your property.

On an even broader scale, it’s wise to perform a tenant check on anyone over the age of 18 who will be living in the property. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t listed on the tenancy agreement, if they are over 18 you should perform a check. Keep in mind it’s actually illegal to only check tenants who you believe aren’t British or EU citizens. You need to be checking everyone.

How to Go About a Rent Check

So how do you conduct a proper and thorough right to rent check that will ensure you have fulfilled your responsibilities as a landlord? It’s important you ask to see original documents, not copied papers. You want to make sure you are going to every effort possible to ensure they are who they claim to be. Any documents that they present to you, make copies of and hang on to them. This will show that you did your part.

If you’re unsure of what documents to ask for or you’re concerned a tenant doesn’t have a right to rent, it’s a good idea to visit the website.

Listing Your Property

As a final tip, it’s a good idea to list your property on a trusted site such as Letslivehere. The site is also a wonderful spot to visit for tips, free property valuation, guides and more. If your property is still empty after listing, its worth getting it protected by Global Guardians.

Have you had any negative experiences of the right to Rent policy yet? Let us know in the comments.