New guidelines for foreign student checks welcome

The Government has issued new guidance regarding tenancy checks on foreign students arriving in the UK.
This clarification over ‘Right to Rent’ rules – designed to close the door on illegal immigrants – will help streamline the complex process for the private rented sector.
The Right to Rent legislation has placed an obligation on landlords and letting agents to check that prospective tenants have a right to reside in the UK.
Measures include identity checks of all adults before the start of a tenancy and follow-up checks if an occupier has a time limit on UK residency.
Now the Government has given clarification to the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) – of which we are a member – over timings of checks for foreign students due to arrive for courses.
Our Director Neil Shaw says: “It is essential that landlords and lettings agents keep all of their paperwork up to date, particularly for Right to Rent.
“This is the first time landlords and agents will need to apply the new rules for foreign students as they start to rent accommodation for courses beginning in September and October.
“Any measures to streamline the somewhat complex process is to be welcomed, for the benefit of foreign students as well as landlords and letting agents.”
Right to Rent was rolled out nationwide in February 2016 after successful pilot schemes last year.
Under the Government clarification, landlords can arrange tenancies in principle in advance for students with a time-limited right to remain in the UK.
However, final checks should be undertaken not more than 28 days before the residential tenancy agreement comes into effect as immigration status can change over time. Follow up checks will be needed to ensure the student retains the right to stay in the UK.
Exemptions exist for halls of residence and where educational institutions nominate a student for a property.
According to latest figures from the UK Council for International Student Affairs, the UK welcomed 436,585 international students in 2014 to 2015.
We are a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPOS), the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
Contact us on 023 9282 6731 or email if you need more details about Right to Rent or any tenancy issues.