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Right To Rent: guidelines clarified over foreign student checks

Right To Rent: guidelines clarified over foreign student checks

Discussions between a landlord group and the government has resulted with additional clarity being given for Right to Rent checks on foreign students starting courses in the UK.

The Residential Landlords' Association approached the Home Office seeking clarification on whether checks should be conducted twice - firstly when agreeing the tenancy, potentially months in advance, and again 28 days or less before students move in.

It is commonly the case that overseas students arrange accommodation some months before they arrive to begin their courses at UK universities and colleges.

The RLA says the government has told it that where a person has no time limit to stay in the UK - such as UK citizens and EU nationals - checks can be undertaken at any point before the residential tenancy agreement is granted.

However, where a person has a time limited right to remain in the UK - as applies to overseas students from outside of the EU - checks should be undertaken not more than 28 days before the residential tenancy agreement comes into effect.

In this latter situation follow up checks are required.

The RLA says that in the case of students with time limited right to remain landlords can arrange tenancies in principle in advance, but must carry out the checks within the specified 28 day period as immigration status can change over time. 

In addition to this, migrants coming from abroad may not have the documentation to pass a check until they have arrived in the UK. Exemptions already exist for halls of residence and where educational institutions nominate a student to a property.

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