We already collect the ID's of all occupants over the age of 16 - even if they have booked via Airbnb.

But I am wondering if we should also ask to see their visa's / documents giving them permission to be in England. The "Right to rent" law made it obligatory for us to collect this information for long lets. But I am struggling to work out if we should be doing it for short lets - given that a short let is not the occupants primary home.

Collecting ID's is not popular with guests so would prefer not to add another chore but also don't want a £3000 fine!


last year

Here's a relevent AirBnB forum thread if you haven't read it already ~ http://www.airhostsforum.com/t/request-identity-documents-for-check-in/4380/4

last year

In certain parts of Europe, passport numbers are collected for non EU residents and passed to the local offices and lets face it, if you check in to many EU hotels they ask for ID. I stayed in a London hotel last night and I was asked for photo ID! Its getting more common everywhere.

Is the idea for non EU citizens to provide ID (I think we are still part of this) or all guests regardless of where they are from?

Hi Richard, how are you?

Our UK immigration law requires us to obtain ID for all non-UK residents over the age of 16. Desiree has also mentioned it in her reply above. We do this already and have done so for years.

But this year, England also has a lovely new immigration law known as right-to-rent. A landlord is obliged to make sure anybody they rent to have the right to be here. So you have to see their visas if they are not EU citizens.

I am wondering if people have been doing this for their short lets. For long lets, it's a no brainer - you have to do it. But I am undecided if short let landlords are obliged to collect this information. I have assumed we do not because the property is supposed to be the occupants main home and on a short let it is absolutely not.

But now I am wondering if I am wrong and we should be asking for this info for short lets too.

You need to establish the "main residence address" of all who stay in order to be covered in short term rentals.

maybe checking the visa for right to be in the country is probably part of short term rentals admin we should consider or you could end up with squatters?

Your short let agreement to let is usually a licence and would state that the home is not a primary residence, it is temporary accommodation or a holiday let, plus that a tenancy is not created by the agreement to let. So that theoretically disallows squatters rights.

I am more worried about illegal immigrants and one of our landlords being fined because we did not check that they had a right to be in the country. But the blurb on this new legislation does not refer to short lets specifically - would really like to hear from anyone who knows for sure if we must collect this info or not. I don't think hotels are doing it as far as I know - but London hotels are super slack.

You would be daft not to ask see photo ID

  • check entry visa's where appropriate - (border control can't catch every one?)
  • you need to comply with the hotel records act 1973 - for all guests over 16 years old. (you only need to keep the records for 12 months)

Ask yourself

"How would you help the authorities identify guests (missing or dead) in the event of a disaster?"

Hi Desiree

And also when the police phone you and ask if you know Mr X who says he has been staying at your flat!

So just to clarify, as you understand it, does the immigration law compel us to check visas? Or do you collect them just as a matter of course because you are super organised ;-)?

Quite often the non EU Guests will show their work or student visa's - you don't by law have to see them.

You do have to note their passport details and keep for a year just in case the police need to see it.

  • if a non UK National refuses to show photo ID we recommend and have called the police in the past and asked them to advise.

  • the Police will come out and explain to the guest why they need to show their passports (the case in question were Syrian refugees )

We are not super organised just super careful: for our owners, the neighbours and our guests ...even when some owners "really don't think it is necessary you don't have to do it - it is a silly law

(but you do) so we do it!!

Last thing we want is and issue to arise because we did not do as required.

Load More