Landlords are responsible for conducting their own Right to Rent checks.
In-person manual checks
In-person right to rent checks must be carried out in the presence of the prospective tenant or tenants.
The landlord must check that the:
- Documents appear genuine
- Documents have not been tampered with
- The person presenting them is the prospective tenant or tenant and the rightful holder
- Photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance in order to detect impersonation
- Reasons for any difference in names across documents can be explained by providing evidence (for example original marriage certificate, divorce decree absolute, deed poll)
Landlords must make a clear copy of each document in a format that cannot be altered later and retain the copy securely, electronically or as a hard copy. Landlords must make a record of the date on which the check was made and keep the copies for at least one year after the tenancy agreement comes to an end.
Where a person is unable to present a landlord with any of the above acceptable evidence, the landlord can make a request to the Landlord Checking Service to establish whether their prospective tenant has a right to rent. You must copy and retain copies of:
Passports – any page with:
- The document expiry date
- The holder’s nationality
- Date of birth
- Biometric details
- Any page containing information indicating the holder has an entitlement to leave, enter or remain in the UK (visa or entry stamp)
All other documents – the documents in full and copy both sides of:
- Biometric Residence Permit
- Application Registration Card
- Biometric Residence Card
- Frontier Worker Permit
Home Office online service
Landlords can also check a tenant’s right to rent using the Home Office online service. This service is not currently available for UK passport holders - only for non-UK citizens.
It is not possible to use the Home Office online service in all circumstances, as not all people will have an immigration status that can be checked online at this time.
Landlords are able to undertake a right to rent check in real time for:
- Non-EEA citizens with a current biometric resident permit or card
- EEA citizens and their family members with status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme
- A digital Certificate of Application to the EU Settlement Scheme issued on or before 30 June 2021
- those with status under the points-based immigration system
- British National Overseas (BNO) visa; or
- Frontier workers permit
The online service allows tenants to view their own Home Office right to rent record, then share it with the landlord via a share code. The landlord can enter the code and the tenant’s date of birth and view their right to rent information here: GOV.UK View a tenant’s right to rent in England.
The online service allows checks to be carried out by video call. No physical documents are required as the right to rent information is provided in real-time directly from Home Office system.
The share code will be valid for 30 days from the point it has been issued and can be used as many times as needed within that time.
Read more: GOV.UK Landlord's Guide to Right to Rent Checks.