Right to rent: End date for temporary adjusted checks delayed until 30 September 2022
The government has delayed the end date for temporary adjusted right to rent checks to 30 September 2022 to give letting agents and landlords time to prepare for IDVT.
The end date for the temporary adjusted right to rent checks has been deferred to 30 September 2022. The process for right to rent checks was adjusted at the beginning of the pandemic so that letting agents or landlords didn't have to carry out the checks in person. The temporary adjusted right to rent checks allow letting agents or landlords to carry out right to rent checks over video calls instead, with tenants sending scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than having to show the documents in person.
The government guidance says that the decision to defer the end date was made following the positive feedback it has received following its announcement that it will allow letting agents and landlords to use Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out digital checks". This will mean that letting agents and landlords can use certified digital identity service providers (IDSPs) to carry out identity checks on their behalf for those who can't use the Home Office's online services, which currently includes British and Irish citizens.
The delay will ensure that letting agents and landlords have "sufficient time to develop commercial relationships with identity service providers, make the necessary changes to their pre-tenancy checking processes and carry out responsible on-boarding of their chosen provider", as well as put "measures in place to enable face to face document checks if they do not wish to adopt digital checks for British and Irish citizens with a valid passport (or Irish passport card)."
The guidance emphasises that "checks continue to be necessary" and that "it remains an offence to knowingly rent to a person who does not have the right to rent in England".
Checking an individual’s right to rent during the temporary COVID-19 measures
Up to and including 30 September 2022, if you are carrying out a temporary adjusted check, you must:
- ask the tenant to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app
- arrange a video call with the tenant – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents
- record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
- if the tenant has a current Biometric Residence Permit or Biometric Residence Card or has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme or the points-based immigration system you can use the online right to rent service while doing a video call – the applicant must give you permission to view their details. From 6 April 2022, all biometric card holders will evidence their right to rent using the Home Office online service only. You will no longer be able to accept physical cards for the purposes of a right to rent check even if it shows a later expiry date.
This article is intended as a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, visit gov.uk.