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Right to Rent Checks - Are You Ready?

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Right to Rent Checks - Are You Ready?

 Landlords – the government has done it again and placed another burden on you.  On 1st February 2016 the responsibility for ensuring that tenants have a right to live in the UK was passed from the Home Office to landlords, the so called right to rent checks.  There are four basic steps.

  1. Find out who will live in the property
  2. Check that these people have the correct documentation to stay in the UK
  3. Retain a copy of the documents and record the steps you took to check them
  4. Keep the copies throughout the tenancy period and for at least one year afterwards

Unless you follow these procedures, and if an illegal immigrant is found living in your property, there is a possibility that you will be liable to a civil penalty of up to £3,000. If a tenant sub-lets the property without you knowing, they are responsible for carrying out checks on any sub-tenants. They will be liable for any civil penalties if they don’t do the check correctly.

Landlords letting certain exempt properties will not be affected by the right to rent regulations but the regulations will catch most private landlords.

All professional Letting Agents should by now have procedures in place to ensure the relevant checks are made and certainly we at Hancock Property have been well ahead of the game in ensuring we were ready for the change.

The regulations do throw up some interesting questions on how to deal with prospective tenants who do not have right to reside for a permanent period.  Will the regulations cause landlords to play things safe and only accept UK or EEA Nationals and thereby discriminate inadvertently against non EEA nationals?  Only time will tell. 

One thing is for certain, using a good letting agent who is registered with a professional body is a great step to ensuring you comply not only with this new legislation but all future legislation changes.  A good letting agent always has one eye on the market and one on changing legislation.  Self-managing your property can potentially save you a few pounds each month but if you get it wrong it could cost you dearly.  Are you willing to invest the time to keep up to date yourself or would you rather leave it to the professionals?

If you would like a quote for us to manage your property please call Emma on 01664 563481.  You can switch agents mid tenancy, only 3 signatures required and you will be surprised at the value for money prices Hancock Property charges compared to other letting agents.