Landlords to verify the immigration status of tenants

Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord should not authorise an adult to occupy their 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.

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 intention of the Scheme is to ensure that illegal immigrants are unable to establish a settled life in the UK, which includes restricting access to private sector rented accommodation.

Landlords can establish a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty by conducting simple document checks before allowing adults to occupy rented accommodation, to ensure that prospective occupiers have the right to rent in the UK.

Landlords should not rent property for use by an adult who is not a British, EEA or Swiss national, or who does not have the right to rent. Where a landlord lets accommodation to a person with a time-limited right to rent, they can maintain their excuse against a penalty by conducting follow-up checks. If follow-up checks indicate that the person no longer has the right to rent, to maintain their excuse the landlord can make a report to the Home Office as soon as reasonably practicable and before the expiry of an existing statutory excuse.

Landlords will need to keep records of the checks they have undertaken for those people who will occupy their accommodation.

Landlords have the option to appoint an agent to act on their behalf. Where an agent has accepted responsibility for compliance with the Scheme, the agent will be the liable party in place of the landlord. 

Please contact Oscar by phone on 020 8566 3333 or by email on for further information about how we can directly help you with this process.