Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more in our FAQs

All employers are required to establish that everyone they employ is allowed to work in the UK. To do so a number of checks have to be made otherwise employers could face a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Employers could also be prosecuted and face a term of imprisonment.  Acceptable documents are specified in Lists A & B.

Q) Can I accept a photocopy of a document from List A or B?
A)
No, you must see the original document.

Q) Does the holder have to present the document or can another person present it on their behalf?
A)
The holder must present the document and you must check the validity of the document in their presence. You should check any photograph in the document with the person presenting it to you to ensure they are one and the same.

Q) Do I need to keep copies of the documents presented to me?
A)
Yes you must retain a clear copy of the documents and record the date the check was made.

Q) How long should I keep the documents?
A)
For the period of employment and two years beyond the end of employment.

Q) Can I accept a driving licence as proof of right to work?
A)
No a driving licence is not one of the documents in List A or List B. However a driving licence may provide supporting evidence of other identity documents provided it belongs to the person who presents it to you.

Q) What should I do if a document bears a different name?
A)
If two documents bear different names, check that the person has supporting documents showing why they’re different, eg marriage certificate or divorce decree

Q) What happens if I am caught employing an illegal worker?
A)
You’ll receive a notice known as a ‘referral notice’ to let you know that:

  • your case is under consideration
  • you may receive a civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker

You won’t have to pay the penalty if you can show you made reasonable checks of identity documents.  You’ll be sent a ‘civil penalty notice’ if you’re found liable and you’ll have 28 days to respond.  That notice will tell you what your payment options are and what do next. The notice will also tell you how to appeal if you want to.

Please Note: Employers can be jailed for up to 2 years and receive an unlimited fine if they are found to have ‘knowingly employed’ an illegal worker.

All landlords are required to establish that all adult tenants are allowed to be in the UK. To do so a number of checks have to be made otherwise landlords could face a civil penalty of up to £3,000 if a tenant doesn’t have the right to rent. Acceptable documents are specified in Lists A & B.

Q) Can I accept a photocopy of a document from List A or B?
A)
No, you must see the original document.

Q) Does the holder have to present the document or can another person present it on their behalf?
A)
The holder must present the document and you must check the validity of the document in their presence. You should check any photograph in the document with the person presenting it to you to ensure they are one and the same.

Q) Can an agent make a check on my behalf?
A)
Yes, but you must make sure you have a clear, written agreement to do so, and it explicitly states the agent is assuming responsibility

Q) What about my vetting company?
A)
Third parties cannot take on the liability for you, but many do provide excellent tools to help. We recommend Keysafe Tenant Vetting as our preferred partner

Q) Do I need to keep copies of the documents presented to me?
A)
Yes you must retain a clear copy of the documents and record the date the check was made.

Q) How long should I keep the documents?
A)
For the period of the tenancy plus one year .

Q) Can I accept a driving licence as proof of right to rent?
A)
No a driving licence is not one of the documents in List A or List B. However a driving licence may provide supporting evidence of other identity documents, provided it belongs to the person who presents it to you.

Q) What should I do if a document bears a different name?
A)
If two documents bear different names, check that the person has supporting documents showing why they’re different, eg marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Q) What happens if I am caught with a tenant who doesn’t have the right to rent?
A)
You’ll receive a notice know as a ‘referral notice’ to let you know that:

  • your case is under consideration
  • you may receive a civil penalty of up to £3,000 for each illegal tenant

You won’t have to pay the penalty if you can show you made reasonable checks.  You’ll be sent a ‘civil penalty notice’ if you’re found liable and you’ll have 28 days to respond.  That notice will tell you what your payment options are and what do next. The notice will also tell you how to appeal if you want to.