A "friend" wants to visit the UK for 6 months and stay along the south coast of Cornwall and Devon because of the photographic opportunities in this region. She contemplates renting a flat for the whole time in the interior (e.g., Exeter) and take day trips to the coast.

Possibly impacting her plans is recent legislation placing a statutory responsibility upon private landlords. Surely they wouldn't restrict a tourist from renting a flat for their holiday? Or would they?

How do these new rules affect visitors to the UK who want to rent a private flat?

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Source: Private Landlords: Duty to Carry out Immigration Checks

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    I'm surprised to see a question from you, I guess we'll see an answer from you as well shortly :-) I suppose the nationality and visa of the friend would be requisites to correctly answer the question. – jcaron Jan 18 '16 at 17:12
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    I can definitely see an impact on Airbnb type deals – blackbird Jan 18 '16 at 17:15
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    @blackbird57, Short term holiday lets are outside of the “Right to Rent” regulations – Ian Ringrose Jan 18 '16 at 17:18

As documented in the linked document:

  • it excludes "those not renting the property as their main home", so as long as she can document an existing main home elsewhere, she should be fine whatever the case (and even more so for a short let).

  • EU/EEA nationals have indefinite leave to remain, so can rent as long as they want by just showing their passport or ID card

  • for others, they are entitled to rent for the duration of their leave to remain. Note that as long as they currently have leave to remain, the landlord is "excused" for a whole year, so a 6 month let would not be an issue as long as she has a valid visa at the start.

Of course, many landlords may just choose to err on the side of caution and not try to understand any of it, and just rent to British nationals (and possibly EU/EEA nationals). Probably depends a lot on the cost of the rent, the type of let (short term vs long term), the usual "target" of the landlord, whether this goes through an agency, etc.

  • +1 for introducing the possible effects of "landlord malaise" – Gayot Fow Jan 18 '16 at 18:02
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    A lot of British nationals are badly effected, as they don't have passwords. – Ian Ringrose Jan 18 '16 at 18:44
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    However how is a landlord expected to know what none UK passport look like, yet the landlord is sent to jail if they don't do the correct check..... – Ian Ringrose Jan 18 '16 at 18:46
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    Depending on "excludes those not renting the property as their main home" would be a big risk for a landlord renting a property out for more then say 3 weeks. But allows 99% of "holiday home" lets to avoid having to do the checks. – Ian Ringrose Jan 18 '16 at 18:49
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    @gerrit It's only a fine, up to £3,000, and the landlord only needs to make "reasonable enquiries" and refuse to rent to those who those enquiries make apparent are disqualified. So if someone presents a forged passport the landlord wouldn't be liable simply because the passport wasn't genuine. On the other hand the documentation requirements mean there's probably a significant number of British citizens who can't prove they're permitted to rent. – Ross Ridge Jan 18 '16 at 20:42

As I UK landlord, I would not to choose to rent a flat to someone that was only planning to stay in the UK for 6 months. There are a few issues.

  • It costs me about half a month’s rent just to list a property on RightMove etc
  • A property is normally empty for a few weeks after a tenant has left. This costs me lots in lost rent.
  • The “right to rent” checks take time therefore I would rather have someone that will remain for years
  • I also need to take up reference from past landlord etc, once again taking a long time.
  • Add to this, I expect a tenant to have a good UK credit history with a good UK job.

So firstly I would need a “home owning guarantor” for her, that owns a UK home, has a good UK job and agrees to pay me any money she owes me. Then I would need her to offer 25% more rent that was I am advertised the property for.


Short term holiday lets are outside of the “Right to Rent” regulations and their owners are setup for letting out short term, hence they charge over double what a landlord does.

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    How about a six month lease where the tenant pays for the whole term at the beginning? – phoog Jan 18 '16 at 20:04
  • @phoog There's still the additional costs on a per-tenancy basis that were mentioned, which a 6 month lease would trigger much sooner than a 1-2 year one, so would likely need recovering too in the form of higher rents – Gagravarr Jan 19 '16 at 7:37
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    @phoog, the landlord can still not remove the tenant without using the correct court process at the end of the 6 months. Therefore the landlord needs a way to recover unlimited costs from the tenant or a “home owning guarantor”. – Ian Ringrose Jan 19 '16 at 14:15
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    You are too civilized, in Hungary the instant eviction procedure is to hire a few burly gypsies (who would usually do construction work), throwing out all the belongings of the tenant to the street and changing the lock... – chx Jan 23 '16 at 22:01
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    @chx, do that in the UK, and the landlord may go to jail, hence in the UK we would rather leave someone to sleep in a shop doorway, then risk renting to someone without a 100% credit record and good job. – Ian Ringrose Jan 23 '16 at 22:39

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