Councils Issue Four Fines a Week Under Right to Rent

According to official statistics, four landlords and letting agents are fined every week under the government’s controversial Right to Rent laws. 

In the first two years of operation - from March 2016 until the end of March 2018 - the Home Office has revealed civil servants have collected fines of £265,000 from 405 offenders. 

The average fine is £654 for each offender - from a scheme that has cost £4.7 million to set up and administer. 

Right to Rent is the law requiring landlords and letting agents to check out the residency status of adults living in a privately rented home in a bid to root out illegal immigrants. 

The check should be made before a home is let out or when tenant passports or visas expire while they remain tenants. 

The legislation has proved controversial because landlords and letting agents are forced to act as immigration officers when renting homes. 

The rules are also blamed for having a role to play in the recent Windrush scandal because immigrants with the right to rent a home may have been refused. After all, the Home Office bungled their residence documents. 

Now, the Right to Rent is amended, so any tenants who can show they have lived in Britain since 1973 are automatically granted the right to rent. 

Authorities can issue fines of up to £3,000 per tenant, while those who knowingly lease a property to a disqualified person could face criminal proceedings and up to five years in prison.

View Related Handbook Page

Immigration Act and Right to Rent

Navigating the Right to Rent checks can be daunting. Our guide helps landlords understand their responsibilities and stay compliant with UK immigration laws