Right to rent in the UK
Since 1 February 2016, all landlords have to check your immigration status gives you the right to rent in the UK, before granting a tenancy agreement. If you have time limited leave, the check has to be done 28 days before the tenancy starts and every 12 months thereafter. If you will be living in University of Essex halls of residence you will be exempt from the right to rent check.
A tenancy agreement is a contract between the tenant and the landlord. It is very important that you read and fully understand the document before you agree to sign it. Don’t feel pressured to sign an agreement immediately. It should be possible to take the agreement away with you in order to read through it and if you wish, get it checked at the Advice Centre before you sign.
The following groups of people have the right to rent in the UK:
Exemptions from the right to rent check
- a British Citizen
- an EEA/Swiss national
- those who have the right to be in the UK under EEA law (eg because you're the family member of an EEA/Swiss national)
- those who have valid UK immigration permission
- those who don't have valid immigration permission to be in the UK but who have been granted 'permission to rent' by the UK government (this only applies in exceptional circumstances)
You won't need to be checked if one of the following applies to you:
- you live in an exempt property, which includes:
- accommodation owned or managed by a higher education or further education institution
- a body established for charitable purposes only
- accommodation you have been nominated to occupy by an institution or charitable body
- you aren't using the property as your main or only home in the UK
- the landlord is immediate family, such as your parent
- you're a guest in a property and you don't pay rent to stay there and it's not your only or main home in the UK
- the property is holiday accommodation, such as a hotel and you will only be staying there for a short time
- you're under the age of 18
Read the Home Office code of practice for more information about exemption from the checks.
If you're an Essex student or applicant and need advice please contact us. Landlords should contact their legal representative or the Home Office Landlords Checking Service.