Yesterday, we held another successful landlord forum at the Council House in Oldbury. Several important subjects were covered – and we will do some individual blog posts over the next week or two to update on these, but possibly the most pressing issue was a short presentation from Sarah Aspinal of the Home Office giving a reminder about the Home Office ‘Right to Rent’ rules.
This is something landlords absolutely must get right if they are to avoid a £3,000 fine. Compressing this into a blog post inevitably means missing important information and I really do urge any landlord to have a look at the relevant pages on gov.uk which give the full details, but I will just try and pick out a couple of Sarah’s key points..
- There is a £3,000 fine per occupant if you break the law
- The rules are easy to follow – there’s plenty of information available online and the Home Office can help you get the checks right. Help is there – both online and through their helpline number, (and having rung their helpline a few times, I can personally vouch that their helpline staff really are very good).
- Some tenants might have restrictions on the length of time they can be in the UK. So it might be fine and perfectly legal to let them move into your property – but – you might need to check after a given period that they have not exceeded the length of time they can legally be in the country. If they are occupying your property, after their permission to stay has expired – let the Home Office know.
- The rules initially only applied in a trial area which comprised most of the West Midlands. From the 1st of February – they will apply nationally.
- The rules are not a reason to discriminate against potential tenants, just because they come from abroad. Don’t lose out and turn someone away who might be an excellent tenant, just because they are not a UK citizen.