Right to Rent

In 2014 the government legislated that Landlords must check that their tenants have the right to rent property in the UK. This means checking their passport, visa or other identity documents and taking and storing copies

The Immigration Act 2016 also increased the potential penalties for those landlords who are found to be illegally renting properties.

Read on for help to ensure that you have a robust and reliable checking process to avoid potential penalties.


What are Right to Rent checks?

A right to rent check means checking an identity document from all tenants or prospective tenants who are over 18 to ensure that they have the legal right to live in the UK.  These checks should be carried out for all tenancies beginning on or after 1st February 2016, regardless of nationality. If someone has time-limited permission to work in the UK, you also need to then conduct a follow-up check on them.

If a written agreement is put in place, a letting or managing agent can conduct the right to rent checks on behalf of the landlord.

Once you have established that the adult will be using a property as their main or only home, there are three main steps to check someone's Right to Work in the UK:

Obtain passport
Check documents

Step 1: Obtain

Ask every tenant for an original document which proves their right to live in the UK.

There are 2 categories of legal tenants - unlimited right to rent and time-limited right to rent. The documents for demonstrating each of these are set out in two lists – List A (Group 1 and Group 2) and List B.

You can find a complete guide to acceptable documents here.

Step 2: Check

Landlords must check the original documents in the presence of the holder. This can be in person or via a live video link.

Step 3: Copy

Take a clear copy of the identity documents that you've checked and record the date of the check. Keep those copies securely for at least a year after the tenancy agreement has ended.

If you're an agent making a high number of tenant checks, electronic document verification systems can make the Right to Rent checking process quicker and more reliable, removing much of the administration and ensuring that all your staff have a robust and consistent process to follow.

What are the risks?               

Under the Immigration Act 2016, any landlord who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that they are letting a property to an illegal migrant could face increased penalties:

  • A fine of up to £3,000 per illegal tenant
  • A prison sentence of up to 5 years

How can electronic verification systems help?


TrustID helps letting agents and referencing providers, such as Goodlord and Lettings Hub, assure landlords that tenants have the right to reside in the UK and that they are compliant with Right to Rent Legislation. They also help prevent rogue tenants from letting property illegally by detecting fraudulent documents.

We offer a range of checks which can be carried out online, on your smartphone or by using a specialist ID scanner and with costs starting from as little as £1 per check, TrustID systems are suitable for everyone.

Our cloud-based validation system lets you capture and upload an image of an identity document using your smartphone, tablet device or office scanner meaning you can make checks from anywhere. To ensure that a tenant's identity documents are genuine and unchanged then takes just a few seconds.

Watch a cloud demo



Who uses electronic verification systems for Right to Rent checks?

Several leading letting agents and housing providers rely on TrustID systems, as well as numerous local authority housing departments.


If you would like further information on how our checking systems could help you with Right to Rent checks, please leave us some details below and we will be in touch...