Penalties for illegal renting
You could be sent to prison for 5 years or get an unlimited fine for renting property in England to someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ didn’t have the right to rent in the UK.
This includes if you had any reason to believe that:
- they didn’t have leave (permission) to enter or stay in the UK
- their leave had expired
- their papers were incorrect or false
You can also be fined if both of the following apply:
- you rent your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK
- you can’t show that you checked their right to rent
If you’re asked to prove you’ve done a check
You might get a ‘referral notice’ to let you know your case is being investigated and that you could get a fine (‘civil penalty’).
You’ll be sent an ‘information request’ to allow you to provide evidence that you’ve carried out the check.
After your case has been considered, you’ll be sent either:
- a ‘no action’ notice
- a civil penalty notice with the amount you have to pay
Fines (civil penalties)
The amount you have to pay will depend on the type of accommodation and if you’ve received a civil penalty before.
|Type of accommodation||Amount for a first time penalty||Amounts for further penalties|
|Lodgers in a private household||£80||£500|
|Tenants in rented accommodation||£1,000||£3,000|
Details of how to pay are on your civil penalty notice.
You can save 30% if you pay your civil penalty within 21 days.
Objecting to a civil penalty
You can object to a penalty within 28 days of the ‘given’ date on the civil penalty notice.
You can object if:
- you aren’t liable to pay the penalty, for example you’re not the landlord
- you’ve made a correct check on the tenant or made a report to the Home Office after a repeat check (where a tenant no longer has a right to rent)
- the penalty wasn’t calculated correctly
You’ll be sent an ‘objection outcome notice’ within 28 days that will say if you have to pay the penalty or not.
You must appeal against the penalty within 28 days of the date on the objection outcome notice.
You can appeal for the same reasons that you made your objection.
You might have to pay the Home Office’s legal costs if you lose your appeal.
You must also send a copy of your completed form to the Government Legal Department.
Government Legal Department
1 Kemble Street