Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
Right to Rent checks explained
Since the end of March 2020, landlords have got used to a few changes to the way Right to Rent checks are carried out. These include using video calls and scanned documents rather than originals. Right to Rent is mandatory. Landlords have to ensure that all new tenants have a legal right to live in the UK by checking their passport and any other relevant documents. The scheme has proved controversial since its launch in 2016, with critics complaining that it is time consuming and forces landlords to act as immigration officials. They also face hefty fines if they get it wrong.
A new system to make life easier for both landlords and tenants was announced at the beginning of October 2020, with a new online Right to Rent service to be launched as early as November 2020 as part of the new Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) (Amendment) Order 2020 that Parliament has scrutinised.
The new digital service will mean potential renters first viewing their home office profile online and then sharing their information with prospective landlords using a "share code" so they too can access the records. This protects people’s privacy because the landlord can only view an individual’s Right to Rent information, and won’t be able to see any other unrelated personal information.
The aim is to make it quicker and easier to carry out checks. The existing document-based system can still be used and will run in parallel to the new service until take-up is extensive enough to make the old system obsolete.
A new immigration system will apply to people arriving on or after 1 January 2021. You will not be required to undertake retrospective checks on existing EU, EEA or Swiss tenants when the new system is introduced. Landlords should not be expected to act as immigration officers. It is stressful and can lead to bias in favour of tenants who do not require the additional hassle of carrying out checks. Before 1 January 2021 this was a fact of life for anyone renting property. So download the guidance, follow the rules and if you have any problems, contact the Landlords’ Helpline on 0300 069 9799.
We welcome anything that will make this element of legal compliance simpler for landlords. So here at Ringley, we have done our bit too. We've added a Right to Rent checks function to our automated lettings platform PlanetRent. It’s really easy to use and you can pay-as-you-go. Click here to take a look.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
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Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
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