Becoming a John Shepherd Landlord couldn’t be easier, but before we can make a start on marketing your property and finding you the best tenant, there are some legal identification (ID) and proof of ownership checks that we must carry out.
Ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not you, it’s me’? Well it’s kind of the same thing with ID and proof of ownership. We aren’t asking for it because we want to, we are asking for it because, legally, we have to.
And the same goes for tenants and reference checks. It is our responsibility to act in the best interests of landlord and tenant, for security and safety.
In the first of our two-part series, we take a look at things from the Landlord’s side.
Why do we need your ID and proof of ownership?
Under the provisions of The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, we must be able to properly identify you – that you are who you say you are – and be sure that the property you are asking us to let is legitimate.
By asking for proof of ownership, we are also doing our bit to protect landlords by preventing illegal sub-letting. Private, council and social housing tenants up and down the country don’t seem to be put off from sub-letting without permission, despite the risk of hefty fines, eviction, and in some cases, a criminal record!
And the plot thickens, as Landlords continue to be at risk of ‘property hijacking’, whereby the landlord’s identity is stolen in an effort to sell their property. There are several ways to protect yourself against this, starting with the HM Land Registry property alert service, which will notify you if there is any activity on your registered properties.
Who needs to provide Landlord ID?
Every Landlord. And it you’re a joint landlord, both landlords need to provide ID. And if the Landlord is a company, at least two directors or a director and the company secretary need to provide ID.
What forms of ID and proof of ownership do we need?
- Photographic ID – a driving licence or passport
- Proof of ownership – such as a mortgage statement, title deed, consent to let or a Land Registry Certificate (sometimes referred to as a TR1)
How can the ID and proof of ownership be provided?
There are two options when it comes to providing ID.
The first is to provide the original ID and proof of ownership in person, at one of our branches.
The second, if you are unable to provide the ID and proof of ownership in person, is to provide certified copies by post.
What is a certified copy document?
A certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been certified (endorsed or witnessed if you like) by a professional person, being a bank or building society official, councillor, minister of religion, dentist, chartered accountant, solicitor or notary, teacher or lecturer. The professional person can’t be related to you, live with you or be in a relationship with you.
How do I certify a document?
Take the original and a photocopy of the original documents to a professional person (listed above) and ask that person to certify the copy by:
- writing ‘Certified to be a true copy of the original seen by me’ on the document
- signing and dating it
- printing their name under the signature
- adding their occupation, address and telephone number
Most larger Post Offices offer a document certification service, for a nominal cost.
So that’s it. We know it can be frustrating when you just want to get your property on the market, but the sooner you are able to provide ID and proof of ownership, the sooner we can get started on your behalf.
If you need any help regarding ID and proof of ownership, just give one of our friendly team a call at any branch.