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Right to Rent

I recently did a blog post on Things That Cause Landlords Headaches and one thing that I didn't mention is right to rent. This just got a whole lot more important. Because whether you have a lodger or a tenant, you need to conduct right to rent checks. There is a common misconception amongst individuals who rent out their rooms, that they are exempt from this requirement. You are not.

Covid 19 made these checks easier, you no longer need to see the individual face to face and work out whether their passport, ID card or visa is genuine, but it also made the consequences of getting this wrong very dire.

What are right to rent checks?

This is when you, the landlord must check that the individual you wish to rent to has the right to reside in the UK. This has significantly changed, as prior to Brexit holding a passport from an EU member country meant the individual had guaranteed right to rent, now due to Brexit everyone with a non UK (Wales, Scotland, Northern Irish and of course English) passport must complete a .gov right to rent check online. And you, as the Landlord must check this. You can do so here.

Thanks to Covid 19 you can now do this check online, there are many ways you can do this. Here at Drummonds Property Limited we use TrustID. They check the person's ID, that it is a valid ID and that the person is who they say they are by means of a selfie. The good thing about using an online checking service, is that using one of these online checkers is a defence.

What if I don't or have never carried out right to rent checks?

Well you best do this asap, because not only can you be charged criminally and end up with up to 5 years in prison (I mean what could be worse right?), the fines have doubled!

If you have a lodger/s, the fine is £5,000 per lodger for a first time offence. A repeat offender would be fined £10,000 per lodger. For a standard tenancy the fine is £10,000, which could increase to £20,000 for a repeat offender.

Keep your evidence! Because if you receive an "information request", you can still be fined if you cannot show that you checked their right to rent prior to the tenancy.

Please make sure you carry out your right to rent checks prior to the commencement of your tenancy or agreement! Going to prison for a stranger really isn't worth it. Or you can request Drummonds Property Limited carry out a right to rent check on your behalf, as once there is a written agreement which includes that the we are carrying out the right to rent checks on your behalf, we then take over responsibility for the right to rent checks. This is good news for you as a landlord, because we would be liable for any penalty or criminal action in the event of a breach. Please note, this does not apply if we notify you that the prospective lodger/tenant does not pass right to rent checks and you proceed to rent to them anyway, you would become liable for criminal and/or civil charges.

Check out the highlighted links above to make sure you're covered as a landlord or as someone looking to rent out a room.

For more information, please feel free to give us a call on 0208 138 1990 or send us an email at

Estate Agent in Thornton Heath
Drummonds Property Limited contact information

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