Landlords Obligations from 1st February 2016

Posted February 16th, 2016 by admin. Posted in General, Uncategorized Tags: , , , , , ,

Anyone renting property whether furnished or unfurnished including anyone renting a room to a lodger will have a new obligation placed on them to ensure that their tenants or lodgers have a legal right to live in the UK.

As with all these things failure to do what you would quite naturally assume to be the job of the home office will result in a fine of up to £3,000.

This is what landlords have to do as detailed in the Code of Practice:

“Landlords must check the validity of the documents in the presence of the holder. This can be a physical presence in person or via a live video link, although in either case the landlord must be in possession of the original documents.”

The code then details how this is to be done namely.

“Landlords must check:

1. Photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance in order to detect impersonation;

2. Expiry dates for leave have not passed;

4. The documents appear genuine, show no signs of being tampered with and belong to the holder; and

4. The reasons for any different names across documents (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, deed poll). Supporting documents should also be photocopied and the copy retained.”

(Please note the two number 4 notes are not my error but are exactly as detailed in the Code)

Of course you then have to take a keep copies as follows:

“Landlords must make a clear copy of each document in a format which cannot later be altered, and retain the copy securely: electronically or in hardcopy. Landlords must make a record of the date on which the check was made, and retain the copies securely for at least one year after the tenancy agreement comes to an end”

Just in case you don’t know how to make a copy it handily tells you:

“How: Landlords must retain copies of:

  1. Passports: any page with the document expiry date, nationality, date of birth, signature, leave expiry date, biometric details and photograph, and any page containing information indicating the holder has an entitlement to enter or remain in the UK.
  2. All other documents: the document in full, including both sides of a Biometric Residence Permit.

Obviously landlords can delegate this responsibility to Agents and if this is done then the Agent is responsible. All in all this is another cost that landlords will have to suffer coming on top of the recent budget changes.


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