Right to rent
Changes in landlord responsibility
If you are a landlord or letting agent, you must check that an existing or prospective tenant can legally rent your property in England to avoid a civil penalty. The Penalties for illegal renting can be found on GOV.UK.
To ensure that an existing or prospective tenant can legally rent your property in England to avoid a civil penalty, you must conduct a right to rent check before entering a tenancy agreement.
You can use the Home Office online checking service - View a tenant's right to rent in England to view the immigration status of existing and prospective tenants. The service is simple, secure, free to use and enables checks to be carried out by video call. You do not need to check physical documents if you use the online checking service - the information about an individual’s right to rent is provided in real time directly from Home Office systems.
From 6 April 2022, the right to rent online checking service must be used for biometric residence card and permit (BRC/P) holders, as they will no longer be able to use their BRC/P for a manual right to rent check, even if it shows a later expiry date.
Also from 6 April 2022, landlords will be able to use certified Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (or Irish passport card).
You could face a civil penalty if you rent your property to someone who does not have the right to rent, if you have not carried out a correct right to rent check.
You should not discriminate when conducting right to rent checks - see the Code of practice for landlords.
- Right to rent landlords factsheet
- Civil penalty: penalties for illegal renting
- A tenant’s right to rent
- Right to rent checks: guidance for landlords and tenants on how right to rent checks should be carried out and what documents are acceptable
- Right to rent online checking service
More information can be found on our Right to rent - Answers to your questions page.