Following changes to rental legislation on 1st February this year, letting agents have to adhere to stricter guidelines when renting property.
A penalty of up to £3000 can be imposed on landlords who fail to undertake these checks or who rent a property to a person whose immigration status means that they do not have a ‘right to rent’.
This has meant that the applicant needs to be physically present for the passport check and in possession of the original documents as scans or pdf’s will not be accepted. For overseas clients the extra red tape means that they need to have visa’s already issued and approved in order to sign a lease agreement.
We have conducted a sample survey amongst local letting agents to see how these changes have affected the industry.
Has it been straight forward adjusting to the new legislation?
Generally yes though it has taken a bit of time to adjust to the guidelines
Has the increased need for checks made any difference to the number of successful lettings?
Not as yet but for overseas clients there can be delays whilst their documentation is verified.
Have all applicants provided the necessary documentation when viewing properties?
Most have but we have been unable to move in some tenants until we have seen the passport and visas meaning that they have needed to stay in a hotel for a few days whilst it is all being processed.
Have enquiries from overseas gone down or remained the same as a result?
Enquiry levels have remained the same.
Have there been any delays to applications due to Right to Rent?
No just a lot more paperwork for us!
Have landlords been understanding about the new processes and possible delays?
Yes all landlords have been understanding – mainly as we are doing all the checks.