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Surge in Right to Rent non-compliance News Post Image 24th June 2024

Surge in Right to Rent non-compliance

by Paul Howe

The latest figures published by the UK Government* have shown a surge in fines to landlords and letting agents for non-compliance with the Right to Rent rules.

There was a 405% increase in fines issued to Letting agents and landlords for a lack of compliance when it came to checking a tenant’s legal right to rent in the UK, with the total fines issued in 2023 totalling £151,480 compared with just £29,960 in 2022. The number of penalties issued also spiralled, up from the 32 recorded in 2022, to 155 penalties in 2023.

Landlords and letting agents need to stay vigilant when checking the Right to Rent of all their adult occupiers in England, before they enter into a new tenancy agreement. A Right to Rent check prevents those ‘without lawful immigration status’ from renting a property illegally. To avoid fines for non-compliance, landlords and letting agents need to conduct referencing checks accurately and keep records of those checks.

It’s more important than ever that landlords and letting agents conduct these checks and keep accurate records for a year after the tenancy agreement ends, as an increase in the maximum Right to Rent fines came into effect on 13 February 2024. For a first breach of the rent-to-right rules, the fine has increased from £80 per lodger to £5,000 per lodger and from £1,000 per occupier to £10,000 per occupier.

Fines for repeat breaches have also gone up dramatically, with an increase from £500 per lodger and £3,000 per occupier to £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupier. The penalty increase is part of a wider crackdown on illegal immigration in the UK by the Home Office.

Landlords and letting agents are facing increased legislation and compliance requirements but certified Identity Service Providers like ourselves can help them remain compliant by offering remote Identity Verification that meets Right to Rent guidelines.

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. They will need to demonstrate, with evidence, that they have a carefully considered a fair selection process that has been followed stringently.

*Source: Immigration Enforcement data: Q4 2023 – GOV.UK ( - CREDAS

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