This applies to properties in England only.

Right to Rent Identification form and document samples

From February 1st 2016 landlords and agents across England are required to establish the right to rent of all the occupiers over 18 in their properties when they start a new occupancy agreement.

To help landlords with this the RLA has created an identification form to be filled out by the occupier with the landlord or agent, prior to signing the tenancy agreement.

It's very important that ALL occupiers over 18 are checked, not just tenants. Each of them should fill out page 2 of this document alongside the landlord or agent checking the document. If they are not then the landlord or agent may incur a fine of up to £3000 per occupier in breach of the legislation.

The occupier needs to bring original versions of the necessary documents to prove their right to rent. The list of suitable documents and the number of documents needed is available here to view. This needs to be done in the 29 days before the tenancy is signed.

Once the landlord or agent receives the original document they should satisfy themselves that the document is genuine. Signs to look for include documents not matching with the country, obvious tampering, a mismatch in dates or photographs not matching the prospective occupier. If the landlord or agent is unsure what a passport should look like for a particular country then they can see examples of that and a number of other documents from the Prado website. Alternatively, the government has produced some limited samples as part of their user guide to right to rent.

The landlord or agent should retain a copy of the original document in a format that cannot be edited. Paper copies are ideal but the Home Office has confirmed that a photograph is acceptable provided the image is clear enough to see the details of the document.

If tenants do not have a permanent right to rent in the UK they need to be checked again. This should occur within the 29 days before their visa expires or within the 29 days before the twelve month anniversary of the last right to rent check.

If any of the potential occupiers cannot produce the necessary documents then it is essential that the landlord or agent don't sign the occupancy agreement. If they do this can result in penalties.

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