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.”