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Call of the week – time limited right to rent

Call of the week
Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Now that 18 months has passed since the introduction of the right to rent legislation, many landlords will be facing a follow up right to rent check to ensure that they are still safe from prosecution.

This week’s call is a classic example of this kind of case and landlords who rent out to anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) should pay close attention to the expiry date on their tenant’s right to rent in the UK.

Our landlord had let to a pair of tenants and their two children, aged 17 and 14, back in October 2016.

They had met the couple in person, checked their US passports and established that their right to live in the UK would expire in seven months.  The prospective tenants wanted a twelve month tenancy however.

The landlord called us back then to discuss this, as the prospective tenants were earning good money and seemed ideal.

We confirmed at the time that because the landlord could establish they had a right to rent currently, this right to rent would last 12 months.

This applied even though, the tenant’s work visa would expire in seven months.  We advised him to check back two months before the tenancy ends, and if the visa hadn’t been renewed, to inform the Home Office and start eviction proceedings.

The landlord forgot what he was meant to do after 10 months, but luckily he remembered to call the RLA!

We reminded him to do his checks, and reminded him he had to do this in person.  We also pointed out that, as one of the children was 17 when he last checked, he may also need to check the child.

This is because right to rent checks need to be performed on all occupiers over the age of 18.

While the age of children doesn’t matter much for tenancies featuring people in the EEA, for time limited right to rent tenancies the landlord needs to be aware of any children who’ve turned 18.

IF they have turned 18 they need to be right to rent checked alongside their parents when the landlord makes their follow up check.

As it happens, the tenants had successfully extended their visa for another two years, and the 17 year old had since turned 18.

The landlord took a copy of all three occupier’s proof of right to rent, and then gave them a new tenancy for another year.

Rupinder Aujla, LAT manager, said: “Right to rent is still very confusing many of our members so we are always happy to help them in understanding it.  Especially now that landlords potentially could go to jail if they don’t do the checks.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.

2 Comments

  • we must try and avoid using a sledgehammer to crack a nut in respect of the right to rent checks.

    proof of a job offer and employment with a university . government organisation or any non private employer should exempt the landlord from having to meet the tenant etc.and duplicate the checks of the employer.

    the system is arrogant and humilitating to both parties and is duplicating the work of both the employer of the landlord,

    i accept that the self employed and those working for family businesseses should provide right to work documentations from the immigration office.
    documentation for right to work should in itself be accepted as right to work proof ,

    if for example a prospective tenant works for a government organisation or a university , a hospital , by asking landlords to carry out checks the responsibilty is shifting away from the employer and duplicating work .
    some landlords are making a meal of these checks for fear of being fined .

    I am sure the RLA can tackle this area and allow common sense to prevail

    please pass to the right department for investigation

  • sorry ro clarify ,copy of a current offer of employment from a reputable employer ie nhs , kings college , the government would indicate that due diligence has been carried out by the employer ,in respect of the right the right to work and live in britain criteria , a prospective tenant would therefore automatically pass the right to rent criteria , as it would not be practicle to commute from far off places on a daily basis .JOKE !
    the NHS are crying our for doctors, why should a doctor who is fit to treat us have to go through additional superfluous checks in respect of the right to rent criteria.

    The RLA will hopefully be a beacon of light and insist on common sense procedures prevailing .

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