How Do I Get My Right to Rent Share Code?
Since 2016, right to rent checks have been important for both landlords and tenants to confirm new residents in the UK have the right to rent privately. In this right to rent guide, we detail exactly what this means for both EU and non-citizens and how it all works.
What Is the Right To Rent?
If you coming to the UK from abroad, renting a place isn’t as simple as just jumping on a rental website and browsing through your options.
The right to rent is the requirement for tenants to be able to rent legally in England. Right to rent checks were introduced in 2016 so people who are residents in the UK could prove they have the right to rent privately with a landlord. From July 2021, in the wake of Brexit, this has also EU citizens included people moving from:
- The European Union (EU)
- The European Economic Area (EEA)
Right to rent checks are usually carried out online by a landlord in order to validate your right to rent privately from them. These right to rent checks need to be carried out before the tenancy starts. Once you’ve got that done, you’ll then be able to rent legally and be protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
Right to rent checks only apply in England! If you are renting in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, you do not need to have a right to rent check. The right to rent checks only apply in England, although you need UK-wide documentation to comply with the requirements.
Who Has the Right To Rent in the UK?
The right to rent is granted to any legal resident in the UK. Even if it’s only temporary, you will still have the right to rent from a landlord as long as your residency is valid and you have the correct UK visa.
You will have the right to rent if you have the following:
- UK or Irish citizenship
- Indefinite leave to remain
- Pre-settled or settled status in the EU Settlement Scheme
- Valid UK work or student visa
- Refugee status
- Temporary right to rent
Do UK citizens need to prove their right to rent? You will still need to prove your right to rent if you are a UK or Irish citizen, however this is done manually rather than online. You will need to make sure that your passport and other documentation is valid and up to date.
How Do I Get My Right to Rent Share Code?
To prove your right to rent, you’ll need to have your documentation together in order to show that you are legally entitled to reside in the UK.
You don’t just have to use your passport since there are different options for different statuses in the UK. You’ll also need to find your right to rent share code so your landlord can easily do the right to rent checks online.
What Right To Rent Documents Do I Need?
The right to rent check can be conducted in two ways depending on your documentation. Your landlord can do a manual right to rent check if you are a UK or Irish citizen, or they can conduct a digital right to rent check online on the government website.
For a manual right to rent check, you should have either a:
- Valid UK or Irish passport
- UK driver’s licence
For the right to rent check online, you will need to have:
- A valid passport
- Pre-settled or settled status in the EU settlement scheme
- Biometric residence card
What is a biometric residence card? A biometric residence card is another term for a visa. If you have the right to work or study in the UK, you will have received a biometric residence card that proves your visa status. You can use the number on this card to prove your right to rent and your right to work.
How To Do the Right To Rent Check Online
If you don’t have a UK or Irish passport, you can do the right to rent check online via the UK government’s website. In order to prove your right to rent, you will need to get a share code that you can give to your landlord so they can validate your right to rent and check your immigration status.
What Is My Right To Rent Share Code?
Your share code is a 9-digit number that allows your landlord to look up your right to rent. In order to get your share code, you will need to use the government’s online checker to fill in your details to get your code.
You will need to fill in either your:
- Passport number
- National identity card number
- Biometric residence card number
You’ll then need to fill in your date of birth and you will be given your share code. Your share code will be valid for 90 days, and you should give it to your landlord before signing the tenancy agreement. This is how you view your right to rent
Right to rent checks are legal requirements! Landlords must conduct right to rent checks in England otherwise they could be fined up to £3,000. They will also have to do a follow up check if your visa is set to expire soon.
What Happens If I Lost My Visa?
If you don’t have the right documentation but you do have the right to rent, your landlord will have to double check your status with the Home Office using the Landlord’s Checking Service. The Home Office will usually take around 2 days to complete the right to rent check.
How Long Do Right To Rent Checks Take?
If you are doing the right to rent check online with a share code, the check will be completed instantly and you can begin the tenancy without having to wait too long. If you need a further check with the Home Office, you will need to wait around 2 days.
Can a Landlord Refuse To Rent To Someone in the UK?
In England, for both private and social landlords, if you do not have the right to rent, you cannot legally be offered a tenancy. This means they must refuse to rent to you if you do not meet the requirements, even before you see an inventory checklist!
If you have the right to rent, you landlord cannot refuse to rent to you if they are discriminating against you on the basis of race, ethnicity, English language skills, or nationality. Additionally, Landlords cannot make assumptions about your right to rent and must treat you equally whatever your status.
Your landlord can’t discriminate against you if you’re a student either. If you’re coming to the UK to study, you’ll need to have a student visa but this also gives you the right to rent. If you think you might struggle to pay your landlord however, you should consider appointing a guarantor. If you’re a student, you won’t be able to apply for housing benefits.
What Happens If I Want To Rent Without a Visa?
You will not be able to rent if you do not have a valid UK visa or you don’t have pre-settled or settled status. If you fail the Home Office right to rent check, you can make an appeal if there has been a mistake.
If your visa runs out while you are still renting, your landlord will have to make an official report to the Home Office. If this happens, your landlord can evict you shortly after receiving a Home Office notice to do so.
It is your responsibility to make sure that your visa doesn’t expire if you want to carry on renting.