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Right to Rent Checks

For full information on these checks, please see the Shelter page.

What are they?

  • New regulations which came into force on 1st February 2016.
  • Any adult renting residential accommodation after this date will be subject to the Right to Rent Checks.

    Please note that the Right to Rent rules do not apply to accommodation owned, managed or nominated by a University.
  • The prospective tenant will need to show that they have the right to rent residential accommodation – generally, the documents required will be either:
    • UK or EU passport - or -
    • A document showing permanent or time limited residence in the UK or EU.

For a full list of accepted documents, please see here.

  • If you have a time-limited right to remain in the UK, the Right to Rent check should be done not more than 28 days before the residential tenancy agreement comes into effect. The landlord will also need to conduct follow-up checks.

Be Clear

  • You should not be charged for the Right to Rent check. If you are charged, please contact the SU Advice Centre to find out what you can do.
  • Exactly what process is the agent or landlord going to follow?
  • It is illegal for a landlord/agent to discriminate against a tenant on the basis of their nationality.
  • You cannot be evicted because your right to rent has expired - to evict you, the landlord must follow the usual process and obtain the relevant court orders, otherwise it may be an illegal eviction.


The law requires that the landlord/agent compares the documents in person or by live video link, and that the copies are kept for 12 months after the end of the tenancy. Questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Does the landlord or agent seem reputable?
  • Do I trust them to hold copies of my identity documents?
  • Does the Agent/landlord have a clear complaints procedure and belong to a redress scheme?

If you have any concerns over the integrity of the agent or landlord:

  • DO NOT RENT A PROPERTY through them;

- and -

  • DO NOT GIVE THEM your Identity documents.

If you have any questions about your rights, contact the SU Advice Centre.