Since 2014, landlords, or their appointed letting agents, in England must check that someone has the right to rent before letting them a property – there are a number of ways to do this, and those methods are not changing, including manual checks of original documentation and the Home Office online checking system.
For agents and landlords responsible for carrying out checks the fines will increase from £80 per lodger and £1,000 per occupier for a first breach to up to £5,000 and £10,000 respectively. Repeat breaches will be as high as £10,000 and £20,000, up from £500 and £3,000.
Illegal renting a lure for migrants
The UK Government says the hugely increased fines are part of their crackdown on illegal immigration and are intended to make it harder for illegal migrants to live and work in the UK. Since the start of 2018, landlords have been hit with over 320 civil penalties worth a total of £215,500. Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick MP, stated that there is no excuse for not conducting the appropriate checks.
Right to Rent evaluation found discrimination
In February 2023 a report on the impact of phase two of the Right to Rent scheme was published by the Home Office, which found clear examples of discriminatory behaviour in the implementation of Right to Rent by landlords and letting agents and concluded that there were gaps in landlords’ understanding of the scheme, particularly among those who were self-managing or operating outside of a membership body.
Members get support to stay compliant
Propertymark has worked hard to distil the complexities of Right to Rent for our members as well as closely liaising with Home Office officials. Improved understanding of the scheme could have a significant impact in reducing discrimination, and it is advantageous for landlords to work with a qualified agent to support this complicated area.
Members can access our full suite of resources and materials created by our expert policy team to support them in staying compliant and up to date.