Under "right to rent" rules, landlords are obliged to check their new tenant or lodger's immigration status to make sure they are legally allowed to rent property in England (the rules do not apply in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland). If you are found to be letting property to someone not allowed to stay in England you may face a fine of up to £1,000 the first time, increasing to £3,000 if caught again.
Ask prospective tenants or lodgers for their proof of residency in England and make copies (write the date on the copy) of the relevant pages. Proofs of residency include:
- a valid passport or identity card from a European Economic Area (EEA) country
- a passport with a visa showing a right to rent in the UK
- an asylum seeker identity card endorsed with a right to rent
- two documents from a list of other options for those who do not have passports
If the prospective tenant's residency is only valid for a limited time, you must make a note of the date it expires and check again. For a full list of the documents prospective tenants can use to show proof of residency and for more information on how to check your tenant's right to rent, go to the GOV.UK website.