Landlords and letting agents managing properties are required to undertake Right to Rent checks. There have been recent updates to this legislation and further changes are on the horizon.
What is Right to Rent?
Since 2015, landlords or letting agents where applicable, have been required to check that all prospective tenants have lawful immigration status in the UK before entering a residential tenancy in England, in order to avoid liability for a civil penalty.
In Person Checks for Right to Rent</h2 > Previously, all Right to Rent checks had to be undertaken in-person. Temporary emergency measures were introduced in March 2020 to allow these checks to be carried out by video call. This was TO minimise face to face contact in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is still allowed to happen – but from 6 April 2022, this changes for specified groups.
So what are the changes?
The Government has had for several months an online system for checking Right to Rent but it has so far been optional. As part of wider moves to minimise the scope for human error or criminal abuse of the system, presentation of a physical document by some groups, will no longer be accepted as valid proof of Right to Rent.
From 6 April 2022, Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders will only be able to evidence their Right to Rent using the Home Office online service.
When these new arrangements come into force, landlords will not need to retrospectively check the status of BRC, BRP or FWP holders who entered into a tenancy agreement up to and including 5 April 2022. Landlords will maintain a statutory excuse against any civil penalty if the initial checks were undertaken in line with the guidance that applied at the time the check was made.
What is The Online Service?
To carry out an online right to rent check, landlords need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which the applicant will have obtained online.
To complete the online right to rent check, landlords will enter a prospective tenant’s details by visiting the ‘checker’ side of the service.
It’s an easy and efficient system and Horizon lets have been using the service since it was introduced. It removes any doubt regarding the right to live in the UK of any overseas national, giving peace of mind to landlords and agents alike.
For further guidance check the Home Office’s Landlord’s Guide to Right to rent checks here:
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