Landlords must carry out ‘Right to Rent’ checks before letting a property. This is to guard against letting to an illegal migrant – and to protect the landlord.
If someone renting is discovered to be such a migrant, the landlord will have protection against being prosecuted as long as they have proof of having made the checks and copies of the relevant documents.
Checks must be carried out on all prospective tenants, regardless of what nationality the landlord believes them to be, both to ensure fairness and avoid discrimination.
The documentation that can be used to complete these checks includes List A, Group 1 documents. These show a permanent right to rent in the UK, and only one of these is required:
- UK passport
- EEA/Swiss national passport or ID card
- Registration certificate showing permanent residence of EEA/Swiss national
- EEA/Swiss family member Permanent Residence card
- Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave
- Passport or other travel document with unlimited leave
- UK immigration status document with unlimited leave
- Certificate of naturalisation or registration as British citizen
If prospective tenants cannot show any of the above, then certain other documents are acceptable. Applicants can show any List A, Group 2 documents to rent for an unlimited time, or one List B document showing a time-limited right to rent.
List A, Group 2 documents range from a UK birth or adoption certificate or driving license to letters from employer, educational institutions, the prison service and more.
List B documents include time-limited endorsed passports, biometric immigration or non-EEA residence cards, or Home Office documentation.