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Government launches online Right to Rent tool for landlords

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  • 08/01/2016
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Government launches online Right to Rent tool for landlords
With just under a month to go until tenant immigration checks are imposed, the government has launched an online checking tool for landlords.

The tool guides landlords through the process of checking if their tenants have the right to rent residential property in the UK, which will be mandatory procedure from 1 February.

Following on from a pilot scheme carried out in the West Midlands, the government announced in October that landlords could face penalties of up to £3,000 if they fail to check a potential tenant’s right to rent.

Although the checks are required to be carried out on all adult tenants for new agreements from 1 February, landlords were able to begin the checks from 4 January, as these can be done 28 days before the start of a tenancy agreement.

The government has consulted on the design of the scheme with an expert panel which includes trade bodies, local authorities and charities. The panel has advised on an updated landlord code of practice to include changes to the acceptable document list tenants can provide.

The government said it had worked with the panel to ensure the scheme is as simple and ‘light touch’ as possible.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire, said: “Landlords with property in England need to prepare now for the new right to rent rules to ensure they are ready for 1 February.

“Many responsible landlords have already been undertaking similar checks – these are straightforward and do not require any specialist knowledge.”

He added: “Right to rent is part of the government’s wider reforms to the immigration system to make it stronger, fairer and more effective. Those with a legitimate right to be here will be able to prove this easily and will not be adversely affected. The scheme is about deterring those without the right to live, work or study in the UK from staying here indefinitely.”

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