Right to Rent – Code of Conduct Update 13 February 2024

Right to Rent – Code of Conduct Update 13 February 2024

15 Mar 2024


Right to Rent – Code of Conduct Update 13 February 2024 

The Right to Rent is a check that legally must be carried out on every potential tenant and lodger in the UK. The check aims to prevent individuals without lawful immigration status from renting a residential rental agreement as a tenant or sign a rental agreement as a lodger. Right to Rent checks are the responsibility of landlords to complete, but they may be carried out by landlord’s agents or agents appointed to act on their behalf, with the agent accepting responsibility in writing for compliance and assuming liability in place of the landlord.  

Right to Rent – Landlord’s Responsibility 

It is the responsibility of the landlord, or their instructed letting agent, to prevent illegal private residential tenancy agreements under the Immigration Act 2014 

Preventing individuals without a lawful right to be in the UK to settle and create a life for themselves is an important element in helping to reduce the public cost for illegal migrants. The checks also seeks to protect the amount of housing available for legal residents in the UK.   

Individuals have the ‘right to rent’ in the UK when they have been verified as being present lawfully in accordance with immigration law. Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”), a landlord should not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement in England, if the adult is disqualified as a result of their immigration status. 

Section 23 of the 2014 Act relates to landlords with section 25 relating to agents. These sections allow the Secretary of State to serve a landlord or letting agent with a notice requiring the payment of a penalty of a set amount in the case of letting a property to a person that does not have the right to rent check in respect of a tenancy under the Right to Rent Scheme. 

 This code outlines which tenancies are subject to the Scheme and how any penalty will be applied as a result of the Scheme.  

Right to Rent restrictions and any penalties are only currently in force and applicable in England.   

 The civil penalty levels for Right to Rent have passed through the parliamentary process and are now concluded. The main changes mark the introduction of the new civil penalty levels for landlords on 13 February 2024. 

Changes to Right to Rent Code of Conduct February 2024 

The Home Office publishes the Code of Practice. This update means that increased penalties come into force on 13 February 2014.  

For landlords, from 13 February 2024, the civil penalty for landlords that illegally sign tenancy agreements with tenants will be set at £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for a first breach and £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupier for repeat breaches, with repeated breaches being considered as breaches the occur within 3 years.  

The civil penalty will be raised to for a first breach, with repeat breaches set at: 

  • First Breach – £5,000 per lodger / £10,000 per occupier 
  • Repeat Breach (within 3 years) – £10,000 per lodger / £20,000 per occupier 

For further information, please visit Gov.uk

What is a Right to Rent Check?

These checks are a mandatory verification process in England to ensure tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. Landlords or letting agents must perform these checks before granting tenancy to anyone above 18. This involves verifying their immigration status through approved documents or online systems. Right to rent checks aim to prevent illegal immigration by making it harder for individuals without authorisation to reside in the country.

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