The United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Since then, landlords in Britain have, without restrictions, rented property to European citizens from the EEC or now known as the European Union. If you are a landlord, you must know that the EU is made up of 27 states:
The reason why you have know which countries belong to the EU, is because the United Kingdom has now officially left the European Union. This means that rules have changed for landlords. If one of your tenants is a national of the EU, you have to check their immigration status. Failure to do this means you are in breach of Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014, which could result in a £3,000 fine or even imprisonment. It’s your responsibility to carry out a Right To Rent check on your tenants who are EU nationals.
If you are a landlord, an agent or a tenant subletting to another tenant, you must make mandatory checks. You have to ensure that your tenant has Settled Status or the Right To Rent. These rules apply to all those renting property in the UK, to European Union nationals. If a European Union national is occupying private rented residential accommodation and proper ID procedures have not been carried out, the landlord will face a civil penalty imposed by the Home Office.
You can check a tenant’s right to rent via the Home Office online checking service on www.gov.uk. This service allows the landlord to check if the prospective tenant is a disqualified person or has the right to rent property in the UK. In order to carry out the Landlord Checking Service, the tenant will have to provide the landlord with an original, current document. This should be the passport that was used when Settled Status was granted. The passport number will be used as a reference for the Home Office online checking service.
This is the Home Office Check List for landlords:
1 – Check that the adults who will live in the property, will do so as their only or main home.
2 – Make sure you see the original document that shows a valid right to be in the UK – for example they are a UK citizen, or you have a valid visa or permit. If in doubt check with the Home Office https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents
3 – Check that the documents belong to that individual.
4 – Keep copies of the documents to show what you saw and when you saw them.
Some landlords and even tenants may see this new rule as an example of passing the responsibility of immigration policing to the landlord. But the penalty should be enough of a deterrent to ensure compliance is universal. SG
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