Are your private residential tenants allowed to rent in the UK?

The Immigration Act 2014 received Royal assent on the 14th May 2014 and laws are expected to take effect in October 2014. 

Before granting a tenancy, landlords and letting agents will have to make sure tenants and occupiers are living in the UK legally and are entitled to rent a property – or risk a fine of up to £3,000.

This will mean carrying out checks before and throughout the tenancy.

The new laws in brief

The new legislation will affect standalone privately owned properties in the United Kingdom.  It will apply to all new tenancies granted after the date on which the legislation comes into effect.

The indications are that the Act will not be applied retrospectively to existing tenancies although it is unclear what transitional provisions will apply in respect of those arrangements.

The Immigration Act 2014 will prevent any individual from becoming a tenant or occupying a relevant property where:-

  • the tenant / occupier is not a “relevant national” (this has a defined meaning in the Act) and
  • the tenant / occupier does not have a right to rent property in the UK.

What you will need to do

Landlords will now have to check the status of new tenants and occupiers and review these checks on a regular basis throughout the tenancy or occupation arrangement.

It is unclear how landlords will be required to carry out the necessary checks and how often they will be expected to review these. The consultation paper states that it will be a straightforward, inexpensive process, using documents such as passports and birth certificates that non-experts can check.

We will publish further information as and when it becomes available, but do please contact us if you need advice.


  • Acting for land owners or property developers in relation to both residential and commercial development projects
  • Advising on the structure and content of the legal documentation associated with the sale and acquisition of development sites
  • Negotiating section 106 planning agreements
  • Negotiation of option agreements and conditional planning agreements
  • Plot sales / disposals

Landlord and Tenant

  • Advising landlords and tenants in relation to the taking of and the grant of commercial leases of all form of commercial property
  • Dealing with subleases of commercial premises
  • Dealing with ancillary leasehold documentation such as licences to alter, change of use or licence to sublet
  • Advising in relation to variations of leases
  • Advising in relation to agreements for leases including development obligations

Real Estate Finance

  • Acting for lenders or borrowers in relation to the taking and granting of security over all forms of commercial property
  • Acting and advising borrowers in relation to obligations in standard security documentation issued by both corporate and individual lenders
  • Perfecting a lenders security over the property at the Land Registry and Companies House
  • Dealing with commercial remortgages
  • Dealing with variations to existing security or substituted security

Property Insolvency

  • Acting for liquidators, administrators in bankruptcy in the sale of all forms of commercial property
  • Acting on and dealing with the sale of property under the Proceeds of Crime Act
  • Acting for buyers of commercial property from liquidators, administrators and trustees in bankruptcy


  • Acting for sellers or buyers of all forms of commercial investment property
  • Advising on the due diligence to be undertaken in connection with the acquisition of investment premises
  • Advising in relation to the VAT and TUPE implications arising out of an investment transaction
  • Advising buyers in relation to their ongoing liabilities under the individual leases

Corporate support

  • Advising on the property aspects arising out of the sale and purchase of businesses
  • Advising on the nature and extent of property warranties included within the legal documentation
  • Advising and dealing with obtaining the necessary consents for the transfer of any leasehold premises as part of the corporate transaction

Property related Pension Schemes

  • Acting for pension providers and individuals in relation to property related pension scheme arrangements
  • Advising pension companies in relation to the legal structure of property related schemes
  • Carrying out appropriate due diligence in relation to the property aspects of a pension scheme
  • Advising on and dealing with issues arising out of the transfer of assets from one pension fund to another

Sales and Acquisition of Commercial Property

  • Acting for sellers or buyers in relation to the sale and acquisition of all forms of commercial property

Make an