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How do you carry out a ‘right to rent’ check?
The Home Office has set up a 'Landlords Checking Service'. A landlord can use this service if someone doesn't have any of the acceptable documents to prove that they are in the country lawfully. As long as the person provides the landlord with a Home Office reference number, the Home Office will do the check and get back to the landlord within two working days confirming if there is a right to rent or not.
The checking service won't provide tenants with written confirmation of a right to rent. This may only be given to the landlord. More information about the checking service is available via the Home Office Landlord Helpline on 0300 069 9799.
A landlord will avoid penalties if they carried out the initial checks before letting the property and kept evidence that they did so. They will also face no penalty if they contact the Home Office when the tenant no longer has a right to rent, but they don’t have to evict a tenant whose limited right to rent has expired. They're only required to report the matter to the Home Office.
If they fall foul of these rules, landlords will face a civil penalty of up to £3,000 for each adult living in their property who isn't a relevant national or has no right to rent. A landlord can object to the penalty by writing to the Home Office within 28 days of the date they receive the penalty notice and there is also a right of appeal against any final decision.