Right to Rent checks – Knight Frank publish advice to landlords and tenants

Private landlords are now required to conduct immigration status checks on their tenants and an updated Code of Practice is in force from 1st February 2016 detailing the landlord's obligations.

Rented property, UK

Property consultants Knight Frank and immigration specialist solicitors, Magrath LLP have published their advice for landlords and tenants:

Step 1

How many adults will occupy the property as their main or only home?
  • Checks must be conducted on all adults (18+ yrs) regardless of whether they are party to the Tenancy Agreement.
  • The property will be the main or only home if it is the only property occupied. In the case of multiple homes considerations will include:
  1. How much time is spent at the property
  2. Personal and family ties
  3. Purpose for which the property is to be occupied
  4. Registration of those occupying the property for voting, doctors, dentists etc.

Step 2

Which group do the Tenants fall into?Knight Frank step 2

Step 3

Document check and record keepingAll documents must be original valid documents and be checked in the presence of the holder. Copies must be held securely for at least one year after the tenancy ends.Knight Frank step 3

List A – Acceptable documents for right to rent checks. If you see these documents when taking in a tenant, there is no need for a repeat check.

Group 1 – Acceptable single documents
  1. A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British citizen, or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the 'right of abode' in the UK.
  2. A passport or national identity card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
  3. A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of the EEA or Switzerland.
  4. A 'permanent' residence, 'indefinite leave to remain', 'indefinite leave to enter' or 'no time limit' card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.
  5. A biometric 'residence permit' card (current or expired) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named has 'indefinite' leave in the UK, or has 'no time limit' on their stay in the UK.
  6. A passport or other 'travel document' (current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is either 'exempt from immigration control', has 'indefinite' leave in the UK, has the 'right of abode' in the UK, or has 'no time limit' on their stay in the UK.
  7. An immigration status document (current or expired) containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person has 'indefinite' leave in the UK or has 'no time limit' on their stay in the UK.
  8. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.
Group 2 – Acceptable document combinationsAny two of the following documents when produced in any combination. All documents in List A, Group 2, must be dated to show they were issued within the specified date shown, eg: within the last three months. The document must contain the name of the prospective tenant.
  1. A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder's parents or adoptive parents.
  2. Evidence (identity card, document of confirmation issued by one of HM forces, confirmation letter issued by the Secretary of State) of the holder's previous or current service in any of HM's UK armed forces.
  3. A letter from HM Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service or the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirming the holder's name, date of birth and that they have been released from custody of that service in the 6 months prior to the check.
  4. A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check from an officer of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer; from an officer of a local authority in Scotland confirming that the holder is the subject of a probation order requiring supervision by that officer; or, from an officer of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer.
  5. A current full or provisional photocard UK driving licence.
  6. Benefits paperwork issued by HMRC, a UK Local Authority or Job Centre Plus, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions or the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development, issued within the 3 months prior to the check.
  7. A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check signed by a representative of a public authority, voluntary organisation or charity which operates a scheme to assist individuals to secure accommodation in the private rented sector in order to prevent or resolve homelessness. This letter must confirm the holder's name, and the address details of the prospective tenancy, which they are assisting with obtaining for the holder. A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check by a UK government department or Local Authority and signed by a named official (giving their name and professional address), confirming the holder's name and that they have previously been known to the department or local authority.
  8. A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check confirming the holder's name signed by the person who employs the holder (giving their name and business address) confirming the holder's status as employee and employee reference number or their National Insurance number.
  9. A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check from a British passport holder who works in (or is retired from) an acceptable profession as specified in the list of acceptable professional persons. The letter should confirm the holder's name, and confirm that the acceptable professional person has known the holder for longer than three months. This letter should be signed by the acceptable professional person giving their name, address, passport number, profession and place of work (or former place of work if retired), how long they have known the holder and in what capacity.
  10. A letter from a UK police force confirming that the holder is a victim of crime and has reported a passport or Home Office biometric immigration document stolen, stating the crime reference number, issued within the 3 months prior to the check.
  11. A letter issued within the 3 months prior to the check from a UK further or higher education institution confirming the holder's acceptance on a current course of studies. This letter should include the name of the educational establishment, as well as the name and duration of the course.
  12. Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate (criminal record check) issued within the 3 months prior to the check.
  13. A full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland, which includes the name(s) of at least one of the holder's parents or adoptive parents.

List B – Acceptable documents establishing a time-limited statutory excuse. You will need to conduct further checks at a later point.

  1. A current passport or other 'travel document' endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK for a time-limited period.
  2. A current biometric 'residence permit' card issued by the Home Office to the holder, which indicates that the named person is permitted to stay in the UK for a time limited period.
  3. A current 'residence card' (including an accession residence card or a derivative residence card) issued by the Home Office to a non-EEA national who is either a 'family member' of an EEA or Swiss national or has a 'derivative' right of residence.
  4. A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK for a time-limited period.
  5. In the case that the person has an ongoing application with the Home Office, or their documents are with the Home Office, or they claim to have a permission right to rent, an email from the Landlords Checking Service providing a "yes" response to a right to rent request. This will only be sent to the landlord by the Landlords Checking Service.
All documents in List B must be valid (not expired) at the time of the right to rent check. You may have to check again as follows:a) one year, beginning with the date on which the checks were last made, or
b) before the expiry of the person's leave (immigration permission) to be in the UK. whichever is later.Source: www.knightfrank.comDownload Knight Frank and Magrath LLP's Right to rent checks document  here (153k) .

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