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Call of the Week: Brexit and Right to Rent

Call of the week
Landlord Advice
Written by Landlord Advice

It’s a subject that has dominated the news headlines especially in the last few months. Brexit.

For landlords, Brexit can pose some questions when it comes to Right to Rent checks. It is a requirement for all private landlords in England to check the immigration status (carry out a Right to Rent check) on prospective tenants at the outset of the tenancy. Failure to do so could result in fines for landlords and letting agents.

You can read some frequently asked questions from landlords on this here.

Will I still have to check a prospective tenant’s right to rent status after the 31st October 2019?

The government has stated that there will be no changes to the right to rent for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members who are living in the UK, until 31 December 2020 even if the UK ends up leaving the EU without a deal. The current procedure for completing a right to rent check should still be followed, and landlords are under a duty to not discriminate against tenants on the grounds of their race or nationality.

Will I need to see an existing tenant’s settled status after Brexit?

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, or their families can apply to the EU resettlement scheme to continue residing in the UK after 1st January 2021. They should apply even if they were born in the UK but are not a British citizen, if they have an existing ‘permanent residence document’ or are one of those types of citizens with a family member who is a British citizen.

The latest updates from the government indicate that you would not need to check for this kind of status, until such a time when the new immigration system will apply to people arriving on or after 1 January 2021, and that landlords will not be required to undertake retrospective checks on existing EU, EEA or Swiss tenants when that new system is introduced.

What about Irish Citizens?

The Government’s gudance on the EU Settlement Scheme, which can be read here, currently states:

Who does not need to apply

You do not need to apply if you have:

I thought that the RLA had won a case against the government regarding Right to Rent legislation?

That is correct, the RLA was involved in a judicial review case successfully on the basis that right to rent is discriminatory and in breach of human rights laws. The Government is appealing the decision, with the case scheduled to be heard on January 14-15.

Although successful, the judges do not have the ability to get rid of acts of parliament and therefore the legislation currently remains in place.

  • The Home Office recently published guidance on carrying out right to rent checks on nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA who have entered the UK through eGates as visitors. You can read the guidance here.

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Landlord Advice

Landlord Advice

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1 Comment

  • Be careful here. Irish citizens are different from other EU citizens and are not currently required to apply for settled or pre-settled status. You need to consider the case for Irish citizens carefully when writing these articles.

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