What is the change? Beginning in February, the U.K. will require all landlords in England to check immigration documents of prospective tenants.

What does the change mean? The mandatory right-to-rent rules may complicate relocation schedules for foreign assignees, as it is unclear whether they will be able to rent before arriving and obtaining their biometric resident permit.  

  • Implementation time frame: February 2016.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking rental accommodations in England.
  • Business impact: The checks will add red tape to relocation schedules, and foreign employees could be denied rental accommodations if their immigration status is unclear to the property owner.

Background: The right-to-rent checks were introduced in the 2014 Immigration Act and the program was piloted in West Midlands. The rules have been criticized as putting a new burden on landlords who are not familiar with immigration regulations and as potentially discriminatory against those who appear foreign.

BAL Analysis: Employers and relocation companies should consider the right-to-rent requirements when arranging schedules for foreign employees and assignees newly relocating to England.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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