What is changing?
Tenants who hold a Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) will no longer be able to present physical documents as valid proof of right to rent in the UK. Tenants will only be able to use the Home Office’s online service.
If a tenant enters a tenancy agreement up to (and including)on 5 April 2022, landlords will not need to retrospectively check their statuses. 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 are right to rent checks?
Landlords and rental agents are required by law to check that all prospective tenants are in the UK lawfully before they enter into a tenancy agreement in England but if they are not, they may be liable for a civil penalty.
The two types of right to rent checks
There are currently two types of right to rent checks:
- An online check
- A manual check
All BRC, BRP and FWP holders are required to do an online right to rent check, as well as individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. To do this, landlords will need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online.
Note: The checks a landlord carries out depends on the status of the prospective tenant.
What happens if you fail a right to rent check?
You cannot be legally offered a tenancy if you fail a right to rent check. If you fail, your landlord must inform the Home Office. The Home Office could then:
- ask you [the tenant] to evidence your right to rent if there has been a mistake; and/or
- send out a disqualification notice and ask your landlord to end your tenancy.
Please be aware that your landlord may not end your tenancy until they are asked to do so by the Home Office.
A home that has a mix of people with and without the right to rent
- Eviction with the correct notice.
- Eviction by a court eviction order.
Tenants with the right to rent could negotiate with the landlord to stay in the tenancy. Tenants are usually given the legal two months notice to leave the property.
A home with no people with the right to rent
- Eviction without a court order.
Your landlord should give you the legal amount of time to leave the property (usually 4 weeks)as it is illegal for a landlord to use force or to threaten a tenant to leave a property.
Consult the government’s COVID-19 guidance if you were served a notice period between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2021.
Contact us for legal and immigration advice.
As of 30 March 2020, temporary changes were made to how landlords can carry out right to rent checks during COVID-19. These temporary measures remain in place until 5 April 2022 until new guidance is published on 6 April 2022.
- Checks can be carried out over video calls.
- Tenants can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app. This is instead of sending originals.
- Landlords can use the Home Office Landlord Checking Service in circumstances where a prospective or existing tenant cannot provide any of the required documents for checks.
Important: In all circumstances, it remains an offence to knowingly rent to someone who does not have the right to rent in England. All necessary checks must be carried out.
Ready for assistance?
If you have any questions about the changes or want legal advice, contact
Woodcock Law & Notary Public today. Contact us by phone on 0330 133 6490 or
by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.