Immigration ‘Right to Rent’ Checks and Passports

Dec 17th 2015

The Immigration Act 2014 places new restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing private rented accommodation and it falls to Landlords to carry out checks to identify if a potential tenant has the right to reside in the UK. These are to be called ‘Right to Rent Checks'.

The scheme is initially being trialled, from 1st December 2014, in areas in the West Midlands. After an evaluation, it will be rolled out nationally, but there is not definite timescale for that yet.

The trial pilot area areas are Birmingham, Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

Government Codes of Practice can be found in the Additional Resources section below.


Who is affected by the Right to Rent checks?

Landlords / Agents and Tenants of private rental residential properties (initially only in the W Midlands area selected for the initial pilot area) will be affected by this new legislation. For the geographical pilot area, it is the location of the rental property that is key, i.e. it does not matter where the landlord / agent is located.


Checks will be required for tenancies starting on or after enactment, but not retrospectivly for those that started before. Existing tenancies are not impacted as long as there is no break in the tenancy. Where a fixed term becomes periodic, this will not be considered to be a break in tenancy.


All adults (18yrs and over) living at the property, whether or not they are named on the tenancy agreement, are subject to the checks. Children are exempt but landlords will need to satisfy themselves that the person is under 18