The Government announced last week that there will be no changes to the right to rent for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK until 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Landlords should continue to follow current Home Office guidance on how to check a tenant’s right to rent.
Tenants will be able to prove their right to rent using:
- their passport or national identity card if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- their residence card issued by the Home Office if they’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member
You have a duty not to discriminate against tenants on the grounds of their race or nationality. You cannot require EU, EEA or Swiss citizens to show you that they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain when entering into new tenancy agreements until 1 January 2021.
Irish citizens will continue to prove their right to rent in the UK as they do now.
You should continue to conduct right to rent checks on all prospective tenants to comply with the code of practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation and the code of practice for landlords: avoiding unlawful discrimination.
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. But until any new system is introduced this has become 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.