New tenancy referencing checks that take account of the immigration status of prospective tenants are being launched by Let Alliance.
The firm will also protect letting agents from any penalties incurred from the Home Office.
The so-called Right to Rent checks are part of the Immigration Act.
A trial is starting in parts of the midlands on December 1, where the new referencing service is being launched.
The checks can be the responsibility of the landlord or, if agreed in writing, the agent – Let Alliance only deals with letting agents.
As well as checking a prospective tenant’s immigration status, there are circumstances in which on-going checks will also have to be made.
Let Alliance’s Ultimate Global tenancy referencing service takes full account of the Immigration Act, and will cost existing clients of Let Alliance no more.
It includes Right to Rent certification; ID validation; follow-up checks for time-limited certification; Home Office checks; and residency confirmation – all done on a documented audit trail.
Also included are the more usual checks, including county court judgements and electoral roll information.
Importantly, Let Alliance is telling agents it will “take full accountability” for the full referencing process.
It emphasises: “Let Alliance will protect all of our customers against any penalty that may be applied by the Home Office if the tenant has completed the ‘Ultimate Global’ referencing process and met our criteria.”
The postcodes in the midlands where the pilot scheme is starting on December 1 are:
B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9, B10, B11, B12, B15, B16, B18, B21,B42, B43, B64, B65, B66, B67, B68, B69, B70, B71, WS1, WS10, WS11, WS12, WS2, WS14, WS15, WS13, WS3, WS4, WS5, WS6, WS7, WS8, WS9, DY1, DY10, DY11, DY13, DY14, DY2, DY4, DY5, DY6, DY8, DY9, DY7, DY3, DY12, WV1, WV10, WV11, WV12, WV13, WV14, WV15, WV16, WV2, WV3, WV4, WV5, WV6, WV7, WV8, WV9.
However, the Right to Rent scheme is due to roll out across the rest of the UK next year.
Andy Halstead, chief executive of Let Alliance, said that if it does, the Ultimate Global service will be offered to the whole market.
He told Eye: “We have been working for months to deliver a solution to letting agents that fully accommodates the Right to Rent legislation and protects them against any penalties, and we have done exactly that.”