From 1st February 2016, private landlords will have to check that new tenants have the right to live in the UK before they rent them their property.
Within 28 days before the start of a new tenancy, private landlords or their agents must make checks for:
people aged 18 and over living in your property, whether they are named on the tenancy agreement or not
all types of tenancy agreements, written or oral
Tenants in some types of accommodation such as social housing and care homes will not need to be checked.
How to make a check:
Check which adults will live at your property as their only or main home, a property would usually be a tenant’s only or main home if:
they live there most of the time
they keep most of their belongings there
their partner or children live with them
they’re registered to vote at the property
they’re registered with the doctor using that address
Inspect the original documents that allow the tenant to live in the UK. When you’re with the tenant, you need to check that:
the documents are originals and belong to the tenant
the dates for the tenant’s right to stay in the UK haven’t expired
the photos on the documents are of the tenant
the dates of birth are the same in all documents (and are believable)
the documents aren’t too damaged or don’t look like they’ve been changed
there are supporting documents to show why there are different names on different documents (if applicable), eg marriage certificate or divorce decree.
Check the documents are genuine and that they belong to the tenant.
Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
If the tenant is arranging their tenancy from overseas, a landlord or their agent must see their original documents before they start living at the property.
There is a fine of up to £3,000 for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England.