Warning - penalties for non-compliance

From 1 February 2016 all tenancies in England are subject to the Right to Rent scheme under Part 3 of the Immigration Act 2014.

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There are many things landlords and agents need to do to ensure that they are complying fully with the requirements of the right to rent scheme. This goes beyond simply carrying out the document checks before tenancies start.  Unless your tenancy agreements and terms of business documents have all the necessary terms, you may find yourself unable comply with your contractual obligations where these are not compatible with the Right to Rent scheme.

Agents and landlords will need to look carefully at their documents and consider whether they are doing enough to deal with the changes.

We are sharing our standard assured shorthold tenancy clauses on right to rent online here. Please feel free to use these clauses in your agreements:

1. It is a condition of the Tenancy that all adult occupiers of the Property maintain a “Right to Rent” as defined by the Immigration Act 2014 at all times during the Term.
 
2. The Tenant shall, promptly on request by the Landlord, comply with such checks and provide such documents certifying the Right to Rent of all adult occupier as are reasonably required by the Landlord.
 
3. Where any adult occupier has a time-limited right to rent the Tenant shall provide to the Landlord proof of their continued Right to Rent as is reasonably required by the Landlord from time to time.
 
4. The Tenant shall notify the Landlord promptly if the immigration status of any adult occupier changes such that the Right to Rent is lost.
 
5. The Tenant will be responsible for any checks required to satisfy the Right to Rent requirements under the Immigration Act 2014 in relation to any sub-letting or licence the Tenant grants, whether authorised by the Landlord or not.

Letting agents’ terms of business with landlords will need to make clear who is responsible for carrying out document checks and how agents can charge for doing this. They will also need to assign responsibility for paying any civil penalties. In addition, where a tenancy is not able to proceed because a prospective tenant does not have a valid Right to Rent there will need to be a consideration of this and what fees will be paid and by whom.

Letting agents will need to consider how to ensure that their processes are not discriminatory and their terms of business will need to address this.

About the author:

Robin Stewart is a solicitor at Anthony Gold Solicitors and a recognised expert in landlord and tenant law.

He can be reached by telephone on 020 7940 4060 or by email on robin_stewart@anthonygold.co.uk
  • Robin Stewart
  • 17/01/2017
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