Posts with tag: rent to rent

Ombudsman warns on Right To Rent

Published On: November 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

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The Property Ombudsman has issued a warning to letting agents, warning them not to forget their duties under the upcoming Right To Rent immigration checks. These checks become mandatory across England from February 1st 2016.

Responsibilities

Christopher Hamer, who is in the final month of his term as Property Ombudsman, has move to remind landlords that in legal terms, the Right To Rent legislation states the responsibilities of checking a tenants’ documents lies firmly with the landlord.

However, Hamer warns that agents face the possibility of having the liability switched to them, should there be a written agreement that they will conduct the Right To Checks on behalf of their client.

‘Agents need to be very precise with the landlord from the outset as to what responsibilities they are taking on in regard to Right To Rent,’ Hamer noted.[1]

‘If the landlord wants the agent to undertake the necessary legal checks, then there must be clear and unambiguous documentation between the parties, stating who has taken responsibility and agents must diligently exercise their duties,’ he added.[1]

Ombudsman warns on Right To Rent

Ombudsman warns on Right To Rent

Checks

Under the Right To Rent legislation, landlords or agents are permitted to check identity documentation for all new potential tenants. These documents include a UK passport, European Economic Area passport or card, residence card or travel documentation, indicating an indefinite leave to remain. Further documents could be a Home Office immigration status document or a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

More information on the Right to Rent legislation can be found here.

[1] https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2015/10/right-to-rent-ombudsman-tells-agents-to-get-written-instructions-from-landlords

 

What is rent to rent?

Published On: January 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm

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A recent BBC investigation has once again brought the subject of ‘rent to rent’ into the public eye.

What is rent to rent?

‘Rent to Rent’ is the process where a letting agent will let out a property on behalf of a landlord. The letting agency will then receive money from the tenant, of which an agreed fee will be given to the landlord.

What is rent to rent?

What is rent to rent?

Problems

The controversial practice, although not illegal, makes it difficult for some landlords to know who, and the number of, people actually living in their property. This problem was highlighted during the recent BBC report.

BBC London’s Charlotte Franks talked to landlord Maggie Khan, who rented her three-bedroom property to a letting agency. The agency in question, Marcus Matthews Management, instructed her that the property would be let to a family.

After the tenants failed to pay rent for the second consecutive month, Khan visited the property. To her shock, she found the living and dining rooms both had been converted into bedrooms, against her will and consent. A total of six individuals were living in the property, each paying up to £650 each pcm.[1] Khan had originally let the property for a total of £1600 pcm.

 

Permissions

Marcus Matthews Management was quick to defend their rights. A spokesman told the BBC that the contract that Khan had signed had not been breached. The spokesman said, ‘The tenancy agreement that she has, gives us permission to sublet. We are not allowed to sublet to bed and breakfast. We assumed that she had an HMO license as it’s the landlord’s responsibility.’[1]

It would appear that subletting schemes such as ‘rent to rent’ are on the increase and it is feared that this could ultimately make it difficult for tenants to be evicted. Landlords should remain vigilant and ask any questions that will ensure they are confident when using letting agents.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26741443