The Residential Landlords Association has set up a new document for its members to use if they wish to transfer Right To Rent responsibilities to their letting agents.
As part of the Immigration Act 2014, landlords are responsible for performing Right to Rent checks on prospective tenants before signing them up to a tenancy agreement.
This involves meeting the prospective occupiers in person, checking their original documents and keeping a copy of the original document for up to 12 months after the end of the occupiers stay in the property.
In practical terms this can be difficult for landlords who live some distance from their properties.
Agents can take on responsibility for performing the Right to Rent checks but this can only be transferred from the landlord in writing; the RLA says many existing agent contracts do not have any clauses regarding Right to Rent responsibilities.
The association has therefore created a new document - available to RLA members via its website - so agents can perform the checks.
The RLA is reminding its members, however, that while the agent is responsible for carrying out the checks, if they tell the landlord the prospective tenants have no Right to Rent and the landlord lets the property to them anyway it is the landlord – not the agent – who would be prosecuted by the Home Office.