The Government has announced a change to the way landlords carry out ‘right to rent’ checks during the coronavirus outbreak. The right to rent scheme requires landlords to check that all tenants who are living in their properties have the correct legal status to live in the UK. But last night the Government said, with immediate effect, the Home Office will no longer require landlords to see original ID documents and will allow checks to be undertaken over video calls. From today, prospective renters can submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have a right to rent.
Despite this relaxation of the rules, these checks are still necessary and it remains an offence to knowingly let a property to anyone who does not have legal immigration status in the UK. So if a prospective or existing tenant can’t provide any of the accepted documents, landlords should use the Landlord Checking Service for their own peace of mind and to avoid legal action being taken against them.
PlanetRent, our free automated lettings app is designed to help landlords with their right to rent checks and make the whole process easier. PlanetRent keeps a log for you of right to rent checks being accepted and reminds users that this is a mandatory requirement. The app also enables users to keep passports & visas on record and warns landlords if they expire.
The Government gave no indication of how long these changes might be in place. However, Home Secretary Pritt Patel made it clear that once the temporary changes end, landlords and employers will be asked to carry out the full checks on those tenants who rented a property during the pandemic.
Landlords can read the full guidance here to find out what this means for you.