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Surge in fines for Right to Rent non-compliance

UK passport right to rent

An increasing number of landlords and letting agents are falling foul of Right to Rent rules, with a big rise in fines handed out last year.

The latest government figures show that they paid fines worth £151,480 in 2023 compared with just £29,960 in 2022, an increase of 405%. The number of penalties issued have also spiralled, up from 32 in 2022, to 155 in 2023, while in the last quarter of 2023, 80 penalties were issued, worth £80,000.

Those failing to conduct checks face even higher fines this year after new Right to Rent fine increases took effect on 13th February. For a first breach, the fine has increased from £80 to £5,000 per lodger and from £1,000 to £10,000 per occupier. Fines for repeat breaches have also gone up dramatically, from £500 per lodger and £3,000 per occupier to £10,000 and £20,000 respectively.

Checking service

Landlords and lettings agents need to verify a tenant’s ID either manually, face-to-face or remotely, via a certified Identity Service Provider (IDSP) or using the Home Office Online checking service.

Tim Barnett, CEO of identity verification firm Credas Technologies, says it’s more important than ever to conduct these checks and keep accurate records for a year after the tenancy agreement ends, or risk an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison if they are found to have knowingly rented to someone who didn’t have the right to live in England.

Selection process

“Landlords and letting agents also need to be able to demonstrate a fair tenant selection process to avoid claims of unlawful discrimination in respect of any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 such as age, gender reassignment, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin etc,” he explains. “They will need to demonstrate, with evidence, that they have a carefully considered, fair selection process that has been followed stringently.”


Right to rent checks
Right to rent
Landlord fines