The Immigration (Hotel Records) Order 1972
The Immigration (Hotel Records) Order 1972 (IHRO) is a little-known piece of legislation which commenced in 1973. Its title is misleading by referring to "hotel records" because the Order applies to all residential lettings where a person will: "lodge or sleep, for one night or more, in accommodation provided for reward".
The "keeper" includes a landlord and letting agent and is defined as "in relation to any premises, includes any person who for reward receives any other person to stay in the premises, whether on his own behalf or as manager or otherwise on behalf of any other person".
Collection of information
The landlord/agent must collect the following information from all persons 16 years or older who stays at the premises on arrival:
- full name
In addition, for all persons aged 16 years or older who are regarded by the Order as an "alien" (someone who is not a Commonwealth citizen, nor a British protected person, nor a citizen of the Republic of Ireland - Section 50 of the British Nationality Act 1981) must also supply the following:
- on arrival: proof of identity and nationality by way of a passport, certificate of registration or other document establishing his identity and
- on or before departure: his next destination and, if it is known to him, his full address there.
Under right-to-rent rules applicable to England, the requirement for similar checks is for "adults" only (18 years or older).
The IHRO applies to all persons aged 16 years or older and applies to England and Wales.
Where the person is defined as an "alien" under the Order, it's a requirement to obtain the next destination and the known full address on or before departure. Currently, for the tenancy deposit prescribed information, an address must be used at the end of the tenancy.
However, that address is simply an address for contacting at the end and won't necessarily be their next destination. To comply with the obligation, the landlord/agent must ask for a forwarding address around the departure date.
Records to be maintained
The keeper must record in writing the date of arrival for all persons aged 16 or older (the tenancy agreement will have a commencement date) and keep that record along with the information collected above for at least 12 months. The records must be open to inspection at all times by any constable or any person authorised by the Secretary of State.
For landlords and agents already following the right to rent rules, this Order doesn't add much extra work, except for extending it to 16 and 17 years of age.
For 16 and 17 years, a passport or other document confirming identity is only required if they are not a Commonwealth citizen, a British-protected person, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; otherwise, just full name and nationality are needed.
A suitable application form is the easiest way of complying because it will ask the necessary questions and establish what further information needs to be sought.
Subscribers get full access to exclusive content, including forms, articles and discounts, plus our time saving Tenancy Builder tool.
Signup for our free weekly digest and get the latest news and guidance straight to your inbox (some content requires a paid subscription).
View Related Handbook Page
Immigration Act and Right to Rent
All landlords and agents need to check the identity of all prospective occupiers. Copies of the documents obtained will need to be securely stored. Landlords and agents must not authorise an adult to occupy a property where the adult is not a national of the UK and Colonies or Republic of Ireland, AND who does not have the right to enter or remain in the UK unless the prescribed requirements have been complied with.
Tenant References and Guarantors
Landlords should interview prospective tenants carefully to assist in choosing one who will be trustworthy and reliable. Taking up references from a prospective tenant’s current or previous landlord, employer and bank can help to inform the tenant selection process.