Right to rent – Who checks the checker?

Right to rent – Who checks the checker?

10:19 AM, 23rd May 2017, About 5 years ago 4

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More a curiosity, but who checks that the person checking that a prospective tenant’s paperwork complies with right-to-rent rules has the right to check?

I had a bit of a trawl but didn’t find (missed?) an answer to the following.

The present Mrs Hamish is not of these ‘ere parts but is a key member of staff at McBloggs Land Lording Inc.

Not being a native puts Mrs Hamish in the enviable position of being invited to leave should dear TM’s negotiations go South and Junker really puts distance between Euro-Toys and Euro-Pram.

Over 30yrs of contributing to the fabric of this country and the exchequer, building bridges in Bucks (literally), latterly qualified to and currently teaching English; the state pension on the horizon.

No way am I going to fork out £1236 on naturalisation or allow her to take a patronising British-ness test when she knows all the answers.

Does it matter a hoot if the checks are carried out by someone without a British passport as long as those wanting to rent pass the checks?



Neil Patterson View Profile

10:33 AM, 23rd May 2017, About 5 years ago

Hi Hamish,

I am guessing it is a Home Office department that will investigate form what it says on the .Gov site >> https://www.gov.uk/penalties-illegal-renting

"Penalties for illegal renting

You could be sent to prison for 5 years or get an unlimited fine for renting property in England to someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ didn’t have the right to rent in the UK.

This includes if you had any reason to believe that:

they didn’t have leave (permission) to enter or stay in the UK
their leave had expired
their papers were incorrect or false

You can also be fined if both of the following apply:

you rent your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK
you can’t show that you checked their right to rent

If you’re asked to prove you’ve done a check

You might get a ‘referral notice’ to let you know your case is being investigated and that you could get a fine (‘civil penalty’).

You’ll be sent an ‘information request’ to allow you to provide evidence that you’ve carried out the check.

After your case has been considered, you’ll be sent either:

a ‘no action’ notice
a civil penalty notice with the amount you have to pay

Fines (civil penalties)

The amount you have to pay will depend on the type of accommodation and if you’ve received a civil penalty before.
Type of accommodation Amount for a first time penalty Amounts for further penalties
Lodgers in a private household £80 £500
Tenants in rented accommodation £1,000 £3,000

Details of how to pay are on your civil penalty notice.

You can save 30% if you pay your civil penalty within 21 days.
Objecting to a civil penalty

You can object to a penalty within 28 days of the ‘given’ date on the civil penalty notice.

You can object if:

you aren’t liable to pay the penalty, for example you’re not the landlord
you’ve made a correct check on the tenant or made a report to the Home Office after a repeat check (where a tenant no longer has a right to rent)
the penalty wasn’t calculated correctly

You’ll be sent an ‘objection outcome notice’ within 28 days that will say if you have to pay the penalty or not.

You must appeal against the penalty within 28 days of the date on the objection outcome notice.

You can appeal for the same reasons that you made your objection.

You might have to pay the Home Office’s legal costs if you lose your appeal.

Send form N161 to your nearest county court with the correct fee to appeal.

You must also send a copy of your completed form to the Government Legal Department.

Government Legal Department
1 Kemble Street
WC2B 4TS "

Hamish McBloggs

13:17 PM, 23rd May 2017, About 5 years ago

Nice editing.

You respond with what I have read.

It is all about whether the checks have been carried out correctly, the timeliness of checks and that the prospective tenant has that right to rent.

Nothing as far as I could see about the qualifications of the person or persons carrying out the check.


Neil Patterson View Profile

13:55 PM, 23rd May 2017, About 5 years ago

It is the responsibility of the Landlord or the Estate agent to carry out the checks.

There is no qualification required other than accepting the responsibility to do it correctly by the simple fact of being a Landlord. Big Brother is watching!

Mandy Thomson

18:25 PM, 23rd May 2017, About 5 years ago

The person who carries out the check does not need to be a British citizen or subject, or even be resident in the UK. They simply need to (to quote the actual wording from the legislation) “..... satisfy themselves that the photograph is of the occupier or prospective occupier” as well as the consistency of any other details on the document, such as date of birth.

A typical scenario where documents could be certified or even fully checked outside England or Wales is where a landlord has a prospective tenant coming from abroad (usually a student) but has no chance to meet the person face to face before the tenancy starts. In that case, one option is for the tenant to post the landlord a certified copy of their passport then meet up via Skype (or similar) so the landlord can compare the applicant's appearance to the passport. The certification will have been carried out by an official in the tenant's native country. The landlord needs to ascertain that a checker is a competent professional with the authority to act as a notary or at least certify documents within their jurisdiction.

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