Landlords warned over potential impact of new Right to Rent scheme

December 3, 2015

New rules on screening tenants are to be extended to Swindon and Wiltshire from next February, the area’s landlords are being warned.

The Right to Rent scheme is being extended across the country from February following a pilot in the West Midlands.

Under the scheme, landlords and letting agents face hefty fines if they rent a property to illegal immigrants without first making proper checks. Tenants who sub-let are also affected.

Swindon-based Tenant Screening, a firm providing a vetting service to landlords and letting agents across the country, is urging anyone renting property to ensure they do not fall foul of the new scheme, which aims to clamp down on illegal immigrants living in private rental property.

During the first six months of the pilot, 109 people in Britain illegally were identified as a result of the compulsory checks on new tenants

Kelvin McCarthy, pictured, screening manager at Tenant Screening, said: “When the pilot was brought in, we were confident that it would only be a matter of time before it was rolled out nationwide, so it is no surprise to hear the Government is doing so from February 1 next year.

“The onus is on the landlord to carry out certain checks on prospective tenants to see if they have a right to rent in this country. If they don’t, and a property is rented out, landlords could face a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant found to be living illegally.”

Tenant Screening offers landlords and letting agents across the UK a screening service for potential tenants.

Kelvin and his team can make a number of checks on would-be tenants ranging from credit checks, residency and ID verification, to employment and landlord referencing, as well as identifying court or insolvency information held against the prospective tenant.

“It is very important to make comprehensive checks on potential tenants, not just because of the Right to Rent scheme,” Kelvin added. “Checks such as references and credit checks will give landlords peace of mind.”

Tenant Screening has created a guide with answers to common questions landlords have regarding the Right to Rent scheme. It also includes details on which documents can be accepted along with a list of useful additional resources. The guide can be downloaded from


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