Home Office Right to Rent guidance update

Article Posted -
08 Oct 2019

The Home Office has released a new factsheet to help landlords complete Right to Rent checks for prospective tenants who are nationals visiting the UK from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA who have crossed border control through ePassport gates.

Nationals from the seven countries highlighted above who are visiting for up to six months can rent a property during their stay. But if they have used ePassport gates, their passports will not have an endorsement although they have the right to remain during this period.

In such circumstances, landlords can evidence the Right to Rent during the visitor’s six month stay through:

  • a boarding pass, or an electronic boarding pass for air, rail or sea travel to the UK;
  • an airline, rail or boat ticket, or e-ticket;
  • any type of booking confirmation for air, rail or sea travel to the UK; or
  • any other documentary evidence that establishes the date of arrival in the UK.

Landlords should keep a copy of the evidence above as well as a copy of the tenant’s passport, including the date the landlord checked these documents, as evidence they have acted in the proper manner. Visitors would only have the Right to Rent for a maximum of six months from the date of arrival in the UK.

If a tenant is looking to rent for more than six months, they will need to show the landlord a visa in their passport and a biometric residence permit.

The Home Office guidance also states that if a letting is for less than three months and it is not extended it should be classified as a holiday let and this would remove the requirement for Right to Rent checks.

No update yet to the Code of Practice

The Government needs Parliamentary approval to amend the landlords’ Code of Practice regarding Right to Rent checks, and as such the statutory Code has not yet been updated to reflect these changes.

This means that, legally, landlords do not have a statutory excuse if they follow the Home Office guidance.

However the Home Office has stated that they will not seek to impose a civil penalty or take prosecution action where landlords have complied with their guidance published today. They are seeking to amend the Code of Practice as soon as they are able.

What you can do:

Landlords are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new guidance. More information can be found on the Home Office website. NLA members can contact our Telephone Advice Line for support on 020 7840 8939.

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