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Landlord asking for proof of ID/ immigration status

(53 Posts)
Lund Wed 05-Aug-15 12:52:04

We have been in our rental property for 3 years and have recently signed another 12 month contract. The landlord has a bee in his bonnet about the new rules to do with landlords checking the status of new tenants, and has asked for us to send him copies of our passports.

As far as I can see, the new legislation applies only to new tenancy agreements. Does he have any right to request this of us? We (DH and I) were both born in the UK and have lived here all our lives, from British backgrounds, working here etc etc. We have nothing to hide. We just don't appreciate this infringement of our privacy.

We have said no, politely, and this is his latest email

'I contacted my auditor and he confirms it is mandatory to have ID copies of tenants. So kindly send me copies of your driving license or Passport. I can’t take any risk on this matter as the law has become very strict on this.

Are you having british PP or other nationality? Kindly confirm urgently.'

Can anyone advise if we are within our rights to refuse this request? Thanks

Nolim Wed 05-Aug-15 12:56:01

I dont know but i dont understand your refusal either

SocksRock Wed 05-Aug-15 12:56:50

Of course you can refuse. But I think he will probably give you notice then. I had to supply my employer with my passport every two years to confirm my right to work in the UK, I was at liberty to refuse but they would have terminated my employment.

There is now a criminal offence of letting to someone who isn't here legally, if I were a landlord I wouldn't take the chance. No way. (Or if it isn't criminal yet there are plans to make it so).

Mrsmorton Wed 05-Aug-15 12:57:39

Why don't you just do it? What a nause it must be to have tenants who question things like this. You've spent more time researching it than it would have taken you to do it.

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 05-Aug-15 12:59:14

Asking for ID is a standard and basic requirement. I'm very surprised you weren't asked for it before you started the tenancy tbh.

I don't understand why you have an issue with it. He's been your LL for 3 years and you've just signed for another 12 months. Why would you be difficult about this?

This page from Shelter explains how LLs usually check tenants Checking Tenants

LIZS Wed 05-Aug-15 13:00:12

Not sure what your issue is? If you applied for a new job you'd have to produce Id. Resistance will probably eventually lead to notice, at which point you'd need to produce it for new ll anyway.

PoppyBlossom Wed 05-Aug-15 13:05:07

I think he's within his rights to ask, and could give you notice if you don't comply. Surprised you weren't required to show any Id at the beginning of the tenancy, along with copies of bank statements and references and credit checks, renting these days is pretty regulated.

GummyBunting Wed 05-Aug-15 13:09:45

Most landlords get a copy of your ID upon signing the rental agreement. I imagine it's not unusual for landlords to request photocopies of passports every few years or so.

I think you are being very unreasonable. He's asked for a copy of your passport, not a blood sample. If I were him and you were being this sketchy about not revealing your passport, I'd be worried. You are in HIS house, after all.

Bragadocia Wed 05-Aug-15 13:10:27

You are in the right, but it seems he is panicking and misunderstanding the law, rather than doing it to be an arse.

So, you can refuse, but if you want to stay in the property when this current lease expires, he may not wish to renew. It's annoying, but is it worth it?

tribpot Wed 05-Aug-15 13:13:07

This scheme isn't nationwide yet is it? CAB think it is only in the West Midlands.

I personally would be unhappy with providing a copy of my passport to a landlord (nor would I want one from my tenants, would want my agency to handle that) because of the requirements around secure storage and disposal. I do have a friend who got in a lot of bother in Europe when his passport copy given to a lettings agency was used to create false ID by a v bad person (think Russian people trafficker) and my friend ended up getting arrested. Okay this was extreme but I would be reluctant to hand over a copy to in effect another private individual, rather than my employer. I'd rather use the Home Office checking service, where they confirm to the landlord that I'm in the country legally.

CAB states existing tenancies, including renewals, are not affected.

Given the document requirements, I can see quite a lot of people being hard pressed to produce evidence - if you don't have a passport, for example, you are expected to provide a full birth certificate and another piece of evidence. Possibly a firearms licence or a crime reference number, the mind boggles confused

MissBattleaxe Wed 05-Aug-15 13:13:26

Your refusal is probably a red flag. It's not much of an infringement of your privacy if it has your photos and date of birth on it. He probably knows your DOB and knows what you look like already.

ohdearitshappeningtome Wed 05-Aug-15 13:13:52

Why be obstructive, if nothing to hide just do and move on and live happily ever after

Lund Wed 05-Aug-15 13:15:04

Thats the thing, we DID show all these things at the start of the tenancy. The tenancy was set up through an agency, and they did all these checks then. Everything above board. We have been more than accommodating to some of his other requests, and just feel a bit hassled by him now.

Can he serve notice even though we have just, as his request, signed another 12 month contract? I was wondering more from a legal point of view, whether he can demand this, as this legislation applies only to new tenancies. I know we will have to do the same if we move to another rental.

Bragadocia Wed 05-Aug-15 13:18:20

You can't be served notice for this if you have a twelve month lease newly signed (would be different had it been a rolling contract following the initial term). I am quite certain you are safe until the end of this contract.

ememem84 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:19:36

If you refuse and you are given notice you'll have to provide passport etc to new landlord anyway....

And if you've just renewed your lease surely this is a "new tenancy" or sorts?

sebsmummy1 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:23:01

I think once any issue become a 'matter of principle' you can pretty much be sure at that point your starting to lose perspective on the issue.

If it were me and I wanted to stay in the property for the forseeable, I would provide the relevant documents, through my eyes skyward and just think Twat

balletgirlmum Wed 05-Aug-15 13:23:04

A driving licence isn't on the list of acceptable documents anyway unless it is accompanied by another document such as a full birth certificate.

sebsmummy1 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:23:31

*you're

TheXxed Wed 05-Aug-15 13:23:57

This makes me feel uneasy, my landlord is a complete sleazebag I wouldn't trust him with my passport information. What measures are in place to keep our information safe.

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 05-Aug-15 13:28:39

His email doesn't refer to the new legislation. He says he has to have ID of all his tenants and legally he does have to have this. He's also given you the option of providing a copy of your driving license instead.

He needs a paper trail of photo ID and that you have confirmed you have the right to live and work here. The fact you provided that information 3 years ago doesn't mean it's still valid eg your passport may have ended. I know one of our tenants has just given us copies of their new ID because they got a new passport.

He also shouldn't be asking for a copy. He's actually meant to see the original, copy it and then return it to you.

As for where he stands legally, it depends on your lease and which country you are in. If you have just signed a new lease (rather than a continuing rolling lease) then you may still be in a cancellation period. Or the lease may have a clause that says its dependent on photo ID.

Lund Wed 05-Aug-15 13:28:40

Thanks Tribpot. That's an extreme example, but we are, in effect, sending copies of our passports, either through the post or via email to an individual about whom we know very little. This is his only rental property, he is not an agency - how is he going to store this information?

mrsplum2015 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:31:39

I would just do it. I say that from a point of view of a tenant and a landlord. We had to show every single piece of paper under the sun in order to be given a tenancy. Thank god I have an agent dealing with my tenants and their paperwork as I find it all such hard work and very tedious - to deal with it twice over would be ridiculous.

If you have shown the passport before surely you can show it again - he hasn't got any more info than he's had before. Maybe his auditor has recommended a photocopy on file just in case he gets checked on it.

You don't give any other info about the tenancy but I assume he is a decent landlord and hasn't mucked you about in any way - if he hasn't responded to repair issues in a timely way for example you might have more of a (moral) leg to stand on.

ohdearitshappeningtome Wed 05-Aug-15 13:40:23

Perhaps your circumstances have changed ? If the law says he has to do something as a landlord then that's the law!

People with criminal record checks need them doing every three years perhaps this is the same!

Lund Wed 05-Aug-15 13:41:24

Thanks Sebsmummy - I think we will end up doing just that!

sebsmummy1 Wed 05-Aug-15 13:49:32

God there were so many typos in my post, glad you got the gist lol!!

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