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30 September 2022

A landlord’s guide to right to rent checks

If you rent out a property, you need to know about the right to rent checks.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
A landlord’s guide to right to rent checks

All landlords are required to carry out right to rent checks on the people they rent to. We have created a useful right to rent guide for landlords to understand the checks.

The checks must be conducted before your tenants are allowed to move in and you must ensure they are carried out to the right standards.

The UK Government previously adopted a new set of rules and requirements to allow the right to rent checks to be carried out efficiently and safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since 1 October 2022, all landlords have been required to carry out one of the following checks to ensure their tenants are able to rent a property legally: 

  • A manual right to rent check
  • A right to rent check using IDVT (via the services of an identity service provider IDSP)
  • A Home Office online right to work/rent check.

One of the above checks must be carried out before the tenancy begins. More details on each of the types of checks can be found below.

A manual right to rent check

If you want to conduct a manual check, you will need to see an individual’s documents yourself. There is a specific list of documents that can and cannot be used to determine an individual’s right to rent, which can be found on the UK Government’s website

Please note: you are unable to conduct a manual check if the person you are checking has a biometric residence card or permit. In this case, you must do the check online.

An IDVT right to rent check

Non-British and non-Irish citizens whLandlords who want to conduct the right to rent checks remotely, as they have been doing according to the old rules, will still be able to do so. If this is you, you will need to use a certified digital identity service provider (IDSP), who will conduct a check using IDVT. This type of check applies to British and Irish citizens. 

The Home Office online service

Checks using the Home Office online checking service do not require you to check physical documents. Instead, they can be carried out via a video call, as right to rent information is provided in real time directly from Home Office systems.

Do you need to re-check tenants who were checked with the old rules?

No. There is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on those who had an adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 30 September 2022.

Limited and unlimited right to rent

An individual has an unlimited right to rent if they are one of the following:

  • a British citizen
  • an EEA or Swiss national
  • someone with the right of abode in the UK
  • someone granted indefinite leave to remain

A limited right to rent applies to people who:

  • have valid leave to remain in the UK for a limited period of time
  • are entitled to remain in the UK as a result of an enforceable right under European Union law

Penalties related to right to rent checks

Failure to comply correctly with right to rent checks may result in a civil penalty. Civil penalties that are issued are determined on a case-by-case basis. 

A Civil Penalty Notice will set out the total penalty amount you are required to pay, and the date by which you must pay it. It will also inform you how to appeal.

Contact us

If you need more information about right to rent checks, contact us today.

Ready for assistance?

If you have any questions, or want to book an appointment with one of our legal experts, contact Woodcock Law today. Call us on +44 (0)20 7712 1705 or email

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