Right to Rent: A simple guide to checks that must be made

Under Right to Rent, landlords or their agents should check identity documents for all new tenants, and take copies.

The documents include:

  • a UK passport
  • a European Economic Area passport or identity card
  • a permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
  • a Home Office immigration status document
  • a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen

A full list of documents is available here

Agents should bear in mind that the checks should be carried out on all, not just some, new tenants.

There are codes of practice to be followed, including guidance on avoiding unlawful discrimination which was drawn up with the assistance of the Human Rights Commission.

There are four steps involved in making a Right to Rent check:

  1. Check which adult tenants will live in the property as their only or main home
  2. Ask tenants for the original documents that show they have the right to be in the UK
  3. Check the documents are valid with the tenant present
  4. Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check

If a potential tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, you can conduct a check on that person’s ‘right to rent’ via the Landlords Checking Service.

Landlords and agents in the pilot area (Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) should continue to make the checks as they have been doing since December 1, 2014.


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  1. Kelly14

    I like that a UK Firearm or Shotgun licence is counted as an acceptable form of ID.

  2. Trevor Mealham

    Good article. useful link to Gov website

  3. Gump

    I used to have a shotgun license, I believe they still hold the rights to my soul.

    The checks they do on you are as tight as two pringles having a hug 🙂

    1. Kelly14

      That’s comforting to know!

  4. Will

    Helpful article so at least us poor people who have to deal with this rubbish know what to do to defend ourselves against the “con”servative landlord bashing legislators.

  5. jad

    Has anyone who had anything to do with this latest bit of ‘Landlord Bashing’ given any thought to the thousands of ‘True Brits’ like my wife and I who proudly own a dog and have no need to have a passport as we wouldn’t put our dog in kennels or farm her out any where else ??  I am a small time Landlord and have been for 20 years – how does a Non Passport Holding Landlord have any right to insist upon seeing a prospective Tenants Passport when he doesn’t hold one himself ?


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