This will usually be:
- A UK or EU passport;
- A passport or biometric card confirming they hold indefinite leave to remain;
- A visa or biometric card confirming a temporary right to remain in the UK.
What properties are covered by Right to Rent Checks?
Any residential property that someone intends to live in as their main home will require a right to rent check. The only, relevant, exceptions to this are:
- Holiday accommodation - including hotels and holiday apartments. If someone intends to stay for a short time limited period then their stay is likely to be considered as outside the scheme. The Home Office have indicated that any tenancy of 3 months or more is likely to be considered within the right to rent check scheme.
- Accommodation provided by an employer to an employee.
Assignees who already had tenancies in place at 1 February are not required to demonstrate their right to rent. However, they need to provide evidence of their right to rent when they seek to agree an extension to the existing agreement.
Tenancies in individual assignee's names
It will still be possible for an assignee to agree a residential tenancy during a visit to the UK, however there may be some practical difficulties in dealing with landlords.
The Home Office guidance to landlords confirms that they should carry out a check before they enter into a tenancy agreement, but where this is not possible they must carry out a check before someone enters the property. However, in light of the potential fines for failing to carry out a check, it is possible that landlords will try to minimise risks by only agreeing to let properties once they have verified that someone has the right to rent. The Immigration Bill proposes to introduce a criminal offence for landlords who do not carry out appropriate checks and this may make it more difficult to agree tenancies in an assignee's name before they come to the UK.
A further difficulty could be encountered when an assignee extends their visa. At this stage the landlord will be required to carry out a further right to rent check, and if the new visa is not issued by the Home Office before the old visa expires the landlord may terminate the tenancy. The risk of this can be minimised by encouraging the landlord to use the landlord checking service to confirm that an application is pending.
Tenancies taken out in the company name are also covered by right to rent checks, as the landlord's duty extends to verifying the identity of all individuals living in the property. Therefore it is likely to be necessary to delay entering into agreements until the assignee has the relevant visa in place.
For advice on any aspect of UK immigration, please contact Stuart McWilliams