New Right to Rent guidelines

Landlords must ensure they are compliant with the law

The Right to Rent guidelines for buy-to-let landlords are very important to follow in order to avoid any penalties. Commencing from 6 April 2022 the government has issued new Right to Rent guidelines for buy-to-let landlords.

If you rent out a property in the UK, either you or your agent – if you have one – is legally required to ensure that your tenants are allowed to rent. While a person’s right to rent often relies on their immigration status, there is also a code of practice for landlords to follow to ensure they do not unlawfully discriminate against prospective tenants.

These checks have been made slightly more complicated since Brexit, as well as the onset of COVID.

The Right to Rent guidelines for buy-to-let landlords 6 April 2022 are as follows:

1) Check the tenant’s immigration status before renting out your property. You can do this by requesting original documentation from the tenant, such as a passport or visa.

2) Make sure you keep copies of all documentation related to the tenant’s immigration status. This will help protect you in the event that the Home Office decides to investigate your property.

3) Report any suspected illegal activity to the Home Office. This includes renting out properties to tenants who do not have the right to rent in the UK.

4) Keep up-to-date with any changes to the Right to Rent guidelines. The Home Office may update these guidelines from time to time, so it’s important that you stay informed.

Equality and discrimination

The guidance also covers equality and discrimination. It highlights the fact that landlords must not make assumptions on a person’s right to rent based on their colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, accent or length of time they have resided in the UK.

The Equality Act 2020 also applies when landlords are assessing tenants. This covers ‘protected characteristics’, including age, disability, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion or sexual orientation.

Furthermore, landlords must treat all applicants the same, and not discriminate based on whether they have a time-limited right to rent, for example.

If you follow these guidelines, you will be in compliance with the Right to Rent regulations. Remember, it is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure that you are compliant with the law. For more information on the Right to Rent guidelines, visit the Home Office website.

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