21 January 2022
Updates to the right to rent checks are coming soon. Here’s what you need to know from 6 April 2022.
In December 2021, the UK Government announced plans to make it easier for landlords to check the legal status of their prospective tenants. The changes mean that landlords will be able to carry out eligibility checks digitally, without needing to check physical documents.
What are right to rent checks?
In the UK, it is the legal responsibility of landlords and rental agents to check that all prospective tenants are in the UK lawfully. The checks must be carried out before they enter into a tenancy agreement.
What are the changes?
The changes mean that private landlords won’t need to check the physical documents of their prospective tenants. Instead, they will be able to use Certified Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to use Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out right to rent checks.
Tenants with a Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) will no longer be able to present their physical documents as valid proof of their right to rent in the UK. All right to rent checks will be carried out via IDVT.
What do the changes mean for landlords?
For landlords, the introduction of digital identity checking into the Right to Rent Scheme will mean they can assure prospective tenants’ identities and eligibility, using consistent and more secure methods. This will reduce risk and allow them to rent in a safer way than has previously been possible.
Using IDVT allows prospective tenants to upload images of their personal documents, instead of presenting physical documents to a prospective landlord, which reduces time and minimises risk.
The technology also limits the possibility of human error in terms of identifying fraudulent documents.
When will the changes be implemented?
The changes will come in on 6 April 2022, at which point it will become a requirement for all right to rent checks to be carried out using IDVT.
If a landlord enters into a rent agreement on or before 5 April 2022, they will not be required to carry out the new checks. They will not fall foul of any government rules, provided they conducted their checks in line with guidance at the time.
What happens if you, as a tenant, fail the right to rent check?
If you fail a right to rent check, it means you cannot be legally offered a tenancy. Following a failure, your landlord must inform the Home Office. The Home Office could then:
- Ask you 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.
If your landlord ends your tenancy, then you will be served with an eviction notice and will have to go through an eviction process. If you are evicted, your landlord has to give you 4 weeks notice to leave the property according to the law.
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 email@example.com.