From 1st February 2016 anyone renting property whether furnished or unfurnished including anyone renting a room to a lodger will have a new obligation placed on them to ensure that their tenants or lodgers have a legal right to live in the UK.
Failure to do so will result in a fine of up to £3,000.
The Code of Practice states “Landlords must check the validity of the documents in the presence of the holder. This can be a physical presence in person or via a live video link, although in either case the landlord must be in possession of the original documents.”
The code then details how this is to be done namely
“Landlords must check:
1. Photographs and dates of birth are consistent across documents and with the person’s appearance in order to detect impersonation;
2. Expiry dates for leave have not passed;
3. The documents appear genuine, show no signs of being tampered with and belong to the holder; and
4. The reasons for any different names across documents (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, deed poll). Supporting documents should also be photocopied and the copy retained.”
For more information please use the following link to take you to the Gov.Uk website for more detailed advise https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-landlords-code-of-practice/code-of-practice-on-illegal-immigrants-and-private-rented-accommodation-for-tenancies-starting-on-or-after-1-february-2016#introduction