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Index >> Landlords Immigration Right to Rent Checks >> Right to rent document checks >&g back button

Right to Rent Document Checks: Introduction

This document is designed to assist with the carrying out of Right to Rent checks for landlords and tenants. Throughout this document, you will find a visual guide to each document which can be accepted to satisfy a Right to Rent check, either in isolation or in combination. There is also an FAQ section to address some common queries. If you are carrying out right to rent checks, there is a checklist for you to print and hold for your records. Landlords can arrange for an agent to carry out checks on their behalf if a written agreement exists between them. Detailed information on all of the Right to Rent scheme is available in our Code of Practice. Landlords who let private property in England, or take in lodgers could be liable for a civil penalty if they enter into a tenancy agreement involving an illegal migrant. If a landlord makes the checks and retains copies as required they will have a statutory excuse against such a penalty. Landlords and agents should apply the right to rent checks in a fair, justifiable and consistent manner, regardless as to whether they believe the prospective tenant to be British, settled or a person with limited permission to be in the UK. More information on avoiding discrimination is available here. From 1 December, landlords or agents in England could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant.

How to make a Right to Rent check

1. Obtain

A tenant’s original acceptable documents that allow them to live in the UK


2. Check

The documents with the tenant present

3. Copy
And keep the copied documents on file and 
record the date of the check

You can find more information about the scheme at 
gov.uk/right to rent checks

If a prospective tenant says they have already contacted the Home Office

If your prospective tenant has an ongoing application or appeal with the Home Office; or their documents are with the Home Office; or if they state that they have permission to  rent from the Home Office, please use this form to check if they can rent and you will receive a response from the Home Office within two days.

Available documents

•Group 1 documents in List A permit the holder permanent right to rent in the UK.
•Group 2 documents in List A must be shown in a combination of two.
•Documents in List B permit the holder to a time-limited right to rent in the UK.
Click on the following images for more information.

List A (Group 1): Acceptable single documents which show an unlimited right to rent

List A (Group 2): Acceptable document combinations which show an unlimited right to rent (any 2 of the below to be shown in combination)

  • UK birth or adoption certificate

  • Full or provisional UK driving license

  • A letter from HM Prison Service

  • A letter from a UK Government Department or Local Authority

  • A letter from National Offender Management Service

  • Evidence of current or previous service in UK armed forces

  • A letter from a police force confirming that certain documents have been reported stolen

  • A letter from a privately rented sector access scheme

  • A letter of attestation from an employer

  • A letter from the UK further or higher education institution

  • A letter of attestation from a UK passport holder working in an acceptable profession

  • Benefits paperwork

  • Criminal Record Check

List B: Documents which show a time-limited right to rent 

  • A valid passport endorsed with a time - limited period

  • Biometric immigration document with permission to stay for time-limited period

  • Non-EEA national residence card

  • UK immigration status document with a time - limited endorsement from Home Office

List A (Group 1): Acceptable single documents - UK Passport

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-uk-passport

If the tenant provides this document then the landlord should take a copy of every page of the passport which contains the document expiry date, nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph. The landlord should also make a note of the date on which the check took place.

If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out any further right to rent checks.
What to look for:
•The passport should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the passport should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth, and should be plausible.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
•The passport should contain an expiry date but can be accepted if this date has lapsed.
•If the holder has a different name on the passport, it should only be accepted if there is a further supporting document which explains this (i.e. a marriage or deed poll certificate). In these circumstances, this document should be copied too

List A (Group 1) : Acceptable single documents - EEA/Swiss national passport/identity card

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-uk-passport

If the tenant provides such a passport then the landlord should take a copy of the pages of the passport which contains the document expiry date, nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph and also any page containing information indicating that the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK.If an identity card is provided this should be copied on both sides in full. In both cases, the landlord should also make a note of the date on which the check took place.
If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out a repeat right to rent check.
What to look for:
•Any photograph should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the document should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
•The document should contain an expiry date but can be accepted if this date has lapsed.
•If the holder has a different name on the document, it should only be accepted if there is a further supporting document which explains this (i.e. a marriage or deed poll certificate). In these circumstances, this document should be copied too.
•The document should denote the holder’s nationality as Swiss or from a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA). A list of EEA member states is available here: https://www.gov.uk/eu-eea

List A (Group 1): Acceptable single documents - Registration Certificate or document certifying permanent residence of EEA/Swiss national

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-uk-passport

A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home 
Office, to a national of the European Economic Area country or Switzerland.

If the tenant provides such a document then the landlord should copy both sides of this in full and make a note of the date on which the check took place.If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out a repeat right to rent check.

What to look for: 
•Any photograph should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the document should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
•If the holder has a different name on the document, it should only be accepted if there is a further supporting document which explains this (i.e. a marriage or deed poll certificate). In these circumstances, this document should be copied too.

List A (Group 1): Acceptable single documents - EEA/Swiss family member Permanent Residence card

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-uk-passport

A ‘permanent’ residence, ‘indefinite leave to remain’, ‘indefinite leave to enter’ or ‘no time limit’ card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.

If the tenant provides such a document then the landlord should copy both sides of this in full and make a note of the date on which the check took place.If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out a repeat right to rent check.

What to look for: 
•Any photograph should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the document should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with

List A (Group 1): Acceptable single documents - Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-residence-permit

A biometric ‘residence permit’ card (current or expired) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named 
has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.

If the tenant provides such a document then the landlord should copy both sides of this in full and make a note of the date on which the check took place.
If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out a repeat right to rent check.

What to look for:

•Any photograph should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the document should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
•There is a gold chip on the back.
•It is the size of a credit card.
•The document should clearly explain that the holder has ‘indefinite’ leave or ‘no time limit’ on their leave in the UK.

List A (Group 1): Acceptable single documents - Passport or travel document endorsed with unlimited leave

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-certificates-of-sponsor

A passport or other ‘travel document’ (current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is either ‘exempt from immigration control’, has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, has the ‘right of abode’ in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.

If the tenant provides this document then the landlord should take a copy of the pages of the passport or travel document which contains the document expiry date, nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details, photograph and also any page containing information indicating that the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK. The landlord should also make a note of the date on which the check took place.If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse,) :against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out a repeat right to rent check.
What to look for:
•Endorsements can come in a number of different forms within a passport or travel document. Landlords should check what is written on them, and that they have not obviously been tampered with.
•The photograph should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the document should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
•The document should contain an expiry da but can be accepted if this date has lapsed.
•If the holder has a different name on the document, it should only be accepted if there is a further supporting document which explains this (i.e. a marriage or deed poll certificate). In these circumstances, this document should be copied too.
•The endorsement should show that the holder is ‘exempt from immigration control’, has the ‘right of abode’ or has ‘no time limit’ on the):
stay in the UK.
•A ‘travel document’ is a passport-type document issued by the Home Office to somebody in lieu of a passport from their home nation.

List A (Group): Acceptable single documents - UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave

Right-to-Rent-Guidance-certificates-of-sponsor

A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the holder is either ‘exempt from immigration control’, has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, has the ‘right of abode’ in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.

If the tenant provides such a document then the landlord should copy both sides of this in full and make a note of the date on which the check took place.If the landlord does this then they will establish a continuous statutory excuse against any penalty against them for letting their property to this individual. They will not need to carry out a repeat right to rent check.

What to look for:
•The photograph should be a true likeness of the holder.
•The date of birth on the document should be credible and consistent with any other instance of when the holder has provided their date of birth.
•The document should not appear to obviously have been tampered with.
•The document should contain an expiry date, but can be accepted if this date has lapsed.
•If the holder has a different name on the document, it should only be accepted if there is a further supporting document which explains this (i.e. a marriage or deed-poll certificate). In these circumstances this document should be copied too.
•The endorsement should show that the holder is ‘exempt from immigration control’, has the ‘right of abode’ or has ‘no time limit’ on 
their stay in the UK.

 

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