Private landlords now have to do the Home Office’s work for them

As if life wasn’t hard enough for private landlords facing the immediate impossibility of not being able to evict non-paying tenants the Home Office has now launched a new process requiring landlords to check their tenant’s right to rent. 

Zah Azeem, Partner at Wimbledon based surveyors Scrivener Tibbatts said: “Landlords are now legally liable to ensure a tenant or lodger can legally rent a residential property in England. Even if the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, you need to do the check in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy. 

“It’s against the law to only check people you think are not British citizens. You must not discriminate against anyone because of where they’re from.” 

According to law firm Bates Wells’ website visa applications under the UK’s points based immigration system were opened on 1 December. Chetal Patel, a Partner in the firm’s immigration team told Property Wire: “The new push the Home Office is putting behind these checks could give rise to even greater discrimination on the basis of race and nationality. 

“Individuals who have non-English sounding names, may find themselves ignored by landlords and could struggle to find a place to live, even if they have every right to be living and working in the UK. 

“Streamlining and digitising processes doesn’t necessarily make it any easier, as not all prospective tenants or tenants will have a UK immigration status that can be checked online. 

“Placing the burden on ordinary people like Buy-to-Let investors to undertake the policing of immigration rules is a poor policy decision in the first place. 

“The government has come under fire for its Hostile Environment Policy, culminating in the Windrush scandal and this latest service could add fuel to the fire.” 

If you would like to discuss something related to a valuation please contact Zah via email at or call 020 8947 7040.