Brexit and the Right to Rent

The Right to Rent checks that have to be carried out on prospective tenants have not been affected by Brexit. Landlords, agents and the likes thereof should continue to conduct checks in the same manner they did before. There are, however, temporary measures in place -due to the ongoing pandemic- to allow you to conduct these checks remotely. The Government is expected to issue new guidance for June 2021.

What has changed?

In short – nothing really! Estate agents and Landlords are still required to conduct their checks and any prospective tenants from the EU, EEA and Switzerland need to provide their national ID card or passport as proof of their right to rent.
Since 2 November 2020, prospective tenants from counties outside of the EU (e.g Australia, Japan, New Zealand, USA etc) have had to show their passport and proof of entry into the UK within the last six months (e.g a boarding pass). Alternatively, they can also get approved via the online Landlord Checking Service.

How has coronavirus affected Right to Rent checks?

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Government made changes to allow Right to Rent checks to be carried out more safely.
These changes were temporary, but they are still in place:
• You can complete initial checks using video calls & scanned copy of the required documents
• You need to add a note to the scanned document stating
  • “an adjusted check has been undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”
• You will need to complete a follow-up check to confirm the occupier has a valid right to rent
  • Deadline for this has not yet been set

Don’t forget!

You can use the Government’s online Right to Rent system to check the Right to Rent status of prospective tenants if they have:
• A biometric residence card or permit
• Settled or pre-settled status
• Applied for a visa and used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan their identity document on their phone.
• The prospective tenant will need to give you a ‘share code’ and their date of birth so that you can access the portal.
• For more details visit: www.gov.uk/view-right-to-rent

What happens next?

The Government is intending to publish new guidance for June 2021, covering how you can perform Right to Rent checks for EEA nationals.

For further information

Check out the Home Office guide to Right to Rent.

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