Landlords in the West Midlands with tenants signing up for new tenancies must start implementing the Right to Rent pilot scheme.
Right to Rent requires landlords to carry out immigration checks on tenants to make sure they have the right to live in the UK.
If they do not, the landlord must not allow them to move into a buy to let home.
The checks start in the Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton from Monday, December 1, 2015.
Existing tenancies remain unaffected as no checks need to be made.
The check involves looking at the tenant’s original passport or visa to make sure they have a valid right to residency.
A British or European Union national can satisfy the check by showing a passport, or a full birth certificate and driving licence.
Landlords will need to photocopy and retain these documents as evidence that the check has been carried out and retain these copies for a year after the tenancy ends.
An important point for landlords to remember is the checks must be made on tenants moving into homes in the West Midlands, regardless of where the landlord lives.
So, a landlord in Plymouth with rental property in Birmingham must go ahead with the Right to Rent check before the tenant moves into the home.
Also, the checks should be carried out for all people aged 18 or over living in the property, even if their name is not on the tenancy agreement.
Failing to carry out the Right to Rent check could result in a penalty of up to £3,000.
“Landlords should not worry too much about the Right to Rent checks as they are probably already doing them as part of the reference process,” said a Home Office spokesman. 2The only extra work is probably copying the documents as proof the check was carried out.”
For more information about Right to Rent, download the Home Office guide©LandlordZONE® – legal content applies primarily to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice.