Right to rent question

Anyone have any tips etc on how to manage international enquiries?
For the first time I’ve had multiple enquiries from abroad, including a Chevening scholar from Paraguay about to start her MSc & a UK army officer currently in Italy amongst others. The two mentioned are obviously incredibly desirable tenants - my only issue is how on earth I’m going to go about referencing them & more importantly conducting right to rent checks before they move in as neither are in the country, the former obviously won’t yet have a UK bank account & her visa is still being processed. The government, in it’s infinite wisdom will only give her a BRP once she’s here. I wish we didn’t have to be border guards too…

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All bar one of my tenants has been from overseas. Standard referencing through Openrent and elsewhere not that useful. You’ll have to do the legwork as ultimately the responsibility to check RTR lies with the landlord. Some of this should prove useful although the douments are quite long

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Indeed - I read through it.
It does appear that there’s a new government service to make it easier for my student from overseas: View a tenant's right to rent in England - GOV.UK
Ironically, the bigger difficulty appears as if it would be for my British army officer as I wouldn’t be able to check his RTR until the same day he wanted to move in & he can’t sign the contract until that’s done. Madness.

Check bank statements for the last six months, payslips, reference letter from employer, current and new, and current landlord, letter from academic institution confirming attendance. Bank statements will be in a foreign language but you are just checking rent has been paid and they live within their means.
It is normal for internationals to collect their biometric card from their institution ( it reduces the risk of fraud). The council have said if immigration was an issue they have a provisional stamp in their passport and that will be accepted if something goes wrong.
The army officer will probably have an NI number, take that. They may have family in the UK willing to act as a guarantor.
Is the student able to pay rent upfront. If not she can pay termly or in line with her finances. Ask to see confirmation of her scholarship so you know it is real.

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Why can’t you check his documents (army guy) and sign the contract beforehand? Before you literally open the door and hand him the keys you check the original document(s)?

My understanding was that you couldn’t legally sign the contract until RTR checks are completed. With him in Italy, I can’t examine his documents & take a copy as required. So it’ll be a case of he lands, I do RTR check, then email him the final contract to sign so he can move in same day. It’ll be the same for her if she doesn’t have the type of visa that can be checked online - it seems only certain ones can.

Military personnel, by the nature of their profession, are extremely disciplined and keep houses in good order.


That’s why these two are top of the list without having met them - I usually like to meet my tenants before letting to them but as you say, it’s highly unlikely he’d still be in the army if he was a slacker.
Likewise the selection criteria for Chevening Scholarship is aimed to identify “high-calibre graduates with the personal, intellectual and interpersonal qualities necessary for leadership.”, and has some very high profile alumni. Personal references have essentially already been done for the pair.

There is no legal requirement to do any R2R checks. Only to not let to someone who doesn’t have a R2R. There is also no need to sign a contract in advance, in fact I think its inadvisable. If you want to secure them as tenants, take a holding deposit, ask them to email you their passports/visas and check them physically when they arrive.

Sorry - that’s what I meant.
It was my impression that a RTR check was legally needed before contract signing (in case the tenant fails the check).

It is entirely possible, and not a problem, to agree to let to them before you have seen the original documents, as long as you don’t let them have access to the house and you let them know it’s required.

David and I have different views on the contract. I would never leave contract to moving-in day and I would be surprised if someone moving back from abroad would be happy not to have a contract as that would mean they could be living on the street with all their stuff.

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It would be checked before the signing if the contracting is left until they arrive with just a draft sent in advance for approval.

I take international students and sign on the day. Everything has been verified before hand through emails. That has been my personal preference and has worked, but that is how I proceed with all my contracts internationals or locals.
I have had one potential who turned up on the day who sent a third party in advance who alleged she was a student and would provide paperwork when she arrived. The day she turned up she could not verify anything so I declined her. Her agenda was to force me through pity. I was not going to give a property to a student who was given a place on a phone call. I have never heard so much nonsense. She made the same claims of homelessness having arrived from Germany. I told her where to find the local hotel!
People who are legitimate will provide everything in advance and not make up excuses.

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Couldn’t the army guy tell you which unit he belongs to, and you get the OK from his superior officer?

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Yeah, that’s fine for referencing, but not for RTR check as it legally has to be done in-person. Government makes landlords border guards.
As it happens, I’ve ended up going with a Navy guy & his wife (primary school teacher) so the property will always be occupied, even when he’s deployed. It’s perfect for them & me even though I’ve got to delay a month until their current tenancy ends. But she’s been super responsive & they want the place long term - and both could afford it individually going by payslip & referencing.