The government has delayed the end date for the temporary adjusted right to rent checks to 30 September 2022 to give letting agents and landlords time to adjust their processes in preparation for the introduction of Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT). The process for the right to rent checks was adjusted at the beginning of the COVID pandemic so that letting agents or landlords did not have to carry out these checks face to face with tenants or occupiers. The temporary adjusted right to rent checks allow letting agents or landlords to carry out right to rent checks over video calls instead, with tenants sending scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than having to show the documents in person. Scroll down to the section on “Providing Digital Proof” or DOWNLOAD our brochure:
Any landlord who rents out private property in England or takes in lodgers could be liable for a civil penalty if they enter into a tenancy agreement with someone who does not have a right to rent here. Landlords can arrange for a letting agent or managing agent to carry out checks on their behalf, provided that a written agreement exists between them. When the UK left the European Union, the way in which Right to Rent checks for tenants was handled, changed, however, a grace period was allowed and this will come to an end on June 30th, 2021.
Therefore, from 1st July 2021, landlords or their letting agents or managing agents must follow the new guidance provided by the Government.
Here are the Basic Points:
Now, instead of checking nationality, the landlord must now check the UK immigration status of all adult applicants who will occupy the property.
For instance, if someone is an EEA, EU, or Swiss national, you will need to see evidence of their UK immigration status rather than their national identification.
- EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
- The European Economic Area (EEA) includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market. Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
Providing Digital Proof:
Tenancy applicants can evidence their Right to Rent by sharing their immigration status digitally, using the Home Office online Right to Rent service. Digital checks were introduced in December 2020 and involve providing a ‘share code’ and ‘date of birth, which is inputted to reveal a status of ‘unlimited’ or ‘time limited’ status to remain in England. Letting agents and landlords can use certified digital identity service providers (IDSPs) to carry out identity checks on their behalf for those who can’t use the Home Office’s online services, which currently includes British and Irish citizens. More information is available from our tenancy administration software provider GOODLORD
Download the Guidance:
There is a handy download available that covers all of the rules and regulations for document checks, provides examples of acceptable documents and answers frequently asked questions. Within this download you can also find information on:
- checking the validity of documents
- retaining evidence
- what you can do if you do not have standard identity documents
We are available to answer all of your questions and to help you through this process, so please contact us if you need assistance with the changes to the Right to Rent checks for tenants in England. You can find out all about our landlord services and download your landlord obligation booklet here.