13 Jan 2021

The government says it’s reviewing the checking process that agents and landlords have to follow under Right To Rent.

The revelation has come to light in a Home Office response to Propertymark, which has previously complained about one element of the checks – that is, the suggestion that agents can conduct checks via video call during the pandemic, but then must go back and conduct retrospective checks within eight weeks of the Home Office announcing that the temporary measures are ending.

In a response to Propertymark the Home Office says: “As this adjusted period [the pandemic] has remained for longer than anticipated we are taking this opportunity to conduct a review of the adjusted checking process.” 

The letter goes on to say: “Whilst our priority remains the security and integrity of the right to rent checks, we constantly seek to improve our process and innovate where possible. We also recognise the need to ensure the system of right to rent checks supports tenants and landlords.”

It continues: “We will update the adjusted checks guidance on gov.uk in due course, allowing sufficient time for landlords to comply with any updates or changes following our review.”

The Home Office also confirmed to Propertymark that the Right to Rent process will not change immediately as a result of the ending of the Brexit transition phase – that is because there is an additional grace period for some matters, including Right To Rent, until June 30 this year. 

“To this end, EEA citizens can continue to use their passport or national identity card to demonstrate their right to rent during this time” advises Propertymark.

But it adds a note of caution: “Letting agents should be aware that if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the new points-based immigration system, they can choose to evidence their Right to Rent using the Home Office online service. Landlords cannot insist that EEA citizens use the online service or discriminate against those who wish to use their passport or national identity card.”

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