Right to Rent. Always needed?

If I let a property to a tenant or tenants, who work for the local NHS hospital nearby, and have a long history of working for the NHS (or any other public sector employer in the UK), whether they are British or Foreign Nationals, do I still need to Right to Rent checks?

After all, if they have a continuous, long record of working in the NHS, surely the employer has checked their right to be in the country.

Please advise?

You can’t assume that anything has been done. Fake doctors have worked for the NHS with no qualifications!

Law states that you must do the checks. Protect yourself and do them.


As Mark10 has said “you can’t assume.” Some may have the right to work/rent for a limited timeframe. For example a student may only be entitled to work/rent while studying. Also my misses works in HR for a large organisation. She is responsible for doing the right to work checks. This responsibility was just dropped onto employers and landlords by the government. The odd case may slip through the net. The heavy fines can easily be absorbed by a multi-national company although not so easy for a private landlord. My advice is don’t cut any corners. Do the checks.

It is a bit like car infront jumping at a red light does not indicate that light is green for us! He/she might have ignored or not noticed. It will not be an excuse in the eyes of law. If British then no problems, you just need to make sure Foreign Nationals have right visa and this could be the tricky bit for public. I have seen a case of border control officer not recognising their own home office permit stamp!!!

@Niteowl there is no legal requirement to do the right to rent checks. The legal requirement is that you don’t let property to anyone who doesn’t have the right to rent. The checks provide what is known as a “statutory excuse”. In other words you wouldn’t face charges if you’ve correctly performed the checks but it turned out that the tenant didn’t have the right. Without doing the checks, you would risk prosecution if things go wrong.

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Thank you. So if it it British tenant/s, who have, for example, worked for the local NHS for 20 years and currently renting, would I still need to check their right to rent?

What you are writing is an assumption rather then check unless you have seen and preferably recorded their Passport/IdentityCard/Resident permit etc. Do not feel that you are offending anyone asking for information (if that is the case). You could have received info by now if you asked :wink: I think there is online system that they can go in: Prove your right to rent in England: get a share code - GOV.UK

check everyone over 18

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Plenty of people who sound British and have lived here for decades have no right to rent. I suggest you check everyone going forward. The other risk if you dont check eveyone is that the checks you do make on foreign nationals could be construed as discrimination and potentially leave you open to criminal charges.

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…and rent to no one under 18, as they cannot be evicted.

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Short answer, if they are British, no you do not have to check. Just keep copy of the picture of their passport/s.

You do need to check ! How do you know if they only have a month or two left on their visa? How can you be sure all check were done? Where is your evidence trail if you are challenged - you can’t produce confidential NHS employment records.
What if they cease working for the NHS?
You need to protect yourself and do the checks.
First you ask everyone their nationality even if they seem to be white British - then you must see relevant identity documents (which will vary according to the I nationality but is usually a passport. For British citizens birth certificate etc can do . You need to take a copy (I photograph them with my phone to give evidence I have seen them and the date I saw the evidence )
The ask if they have a share code and get their date of birth
If they have you can type the share code and date of birth into government webiste and get instant reply - you can then save or print off the evidence of this !
It will also advise how long their right expends for and when you will need to repeat the check if they are still your tenants - if you don’t check how wil you know when you have to repeat.

Don’t get me wrong - its a pain in the neck - and some of us landlords definitely don’t welcome the government asking us to act as immigration police - hoping we will do better for them the job they fail to do !

But act professionally , and in line with the law and make sure you cover your back!

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I think I read somewhere on this forum (possibly a different convo) that if you perform checks on foreign nationals and don’t perform checks on British nationals it could be seen as a discriminatory practice.:thinking:

You cannot say someone is British until you check it surely!


Yes you are correct in which case you should always do the right to rent check.

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