Landlords must only authorise an adult to occupy a property as their main home if they can establish that the adult has the right to reside in the UK. This means landlords or agents acting on their behalf must ensure that they check the identity documents of every adult who is expected to occupy the property.
From 1st December and following the Immigration Act 2016, the sanctions on landlords or on agents acting on behalf of landlords have increased.
A landlord, or agent acting on their behalf, who has "reasonable cause to believe" that their property is being rented by a tenant disqualified under Right To Rent regulations could face unlimited fines and even a prison sentence.
It is also an offence for letting agents who have "reasonable cause to believe" that their landlord client is letting to an adult who is disqualified because of their immigration status to go ahead with the management of the property.
Carrying out thorough document checks can provide a landlord or letting agent with a statutory excuse and may protect them from prosecution.
Quick and easy electronic checks using a desktop or mobile scanner or cloud-based validation service give letting agents a robust and reliable way to carry out validation checks. An agent who introduces electronic validation checks can offer complete assurance to the landlords that they are working with.