Immigration Act 2014
Under s22 of the Immigration Act 2014 private sector landlords are required to check the immigration status of their tenants under the Right to Rent Scheme. The scheme went nationwide on February 1st 2016 after being trialed in the North of England from 1st December 2014 in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton.
Landlords should not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or EEA or Swiss national, or has a “right to rent” in the UK.
The EEA countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Someone will have the “right to rent” in the UK provided they are present lawfully in accordance with immigration laws. Landlords who breach section 22 may be liable for a civil penalty.
The aim of the scheme is to prevent those with no rights to be in the UK from accessing PRS housing. An overview of tenant immigration checks can be read here.