From 1 February 2016, Tenants will have to show that they have a right to rent property in England if: they are starting a new tenancy, there’s a break in the tenancy.
This only applies to residential property in England that they are renting as there main home.
Tenants won’t have to do this if they live in a property in Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton or Walsall that they started renting before 1 December 2014. There are other exemptions from the check.
Landlord or letting agent must check tenants original documents to show they have the right to stay in England and rent a property; check the documents of any other adults living in the property; make copies of their documents and keep them until tenants leave the property; return the original documents to tenants once they’ve finished the check.
Tenants won’t be able to rent the property if they can’t provide evidence of their right to stay in England and rent a property.
There won’t be further checks if tenants stay in the same property and one of the following applies:
British or from an EU country; have no time limit on right to the stay in the UK; have a limited right to stay in the UK, eg on a visa,
Landlord will have to make a repeat check to see documents again just before permission to stay runs out, or after 12 months, whichever is longer.
Checking right to rent with the Home Office
Landlord can ask the Home Office to confirm that tenants have the right to stay in England and rent a property. This is usually because an outstanding application or appeal with the Home Office.
Tenants will have to give th landlord their Home Office reference number to do the checks.