Right To Rent Deadline Extension: How Does This Affect Landlords?
At the height of the pandemic, the rules around Right to Rent changed. These were to minimise the need for social contact. Landlords expected the new rules to revert on 6th April. However, the government’s most recent communications have now extended that deadline. The new rules are going to stay in place until at least 30th September.
The Home Office has explained that this decision is a result of positive feedback from landlords. The feedback the Home Office received suggests that the new process is favoured by most Landlords. The Home Office has also said that the extended deadline will give landlords more time to prepare for the change. This means there is time to build a relationship with an identity service provider.
What Are The Current Rules?
Until the 30th September, landlords can continue to carry out right to rent checks by following these steps
- Ask for a digital copy of the renter’s identity documents. Renters can scan their documents or send digital photos.
- On a video call, ask the renter to hold up their documents. Landlords should check that the documents shown match the digital versions.
- Make a note of the date you performed the check. Then mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.
- For those who hold a biometric identity card, you can check their right to rent using the online service. From the 6th April, this will be the only way to check biometric identity cards. Landlords will no longer be able to accept physical versions, regardless of the stated expiry date.
If you are able to, it is advisable to use the Home Office’s online service to do these checks. By using the online service, you are protected against a civil penalty. The service provides real-time information from the Home Office without the need to see the renter’s documents. However, you cannot force renters to use this service. If they wish to use their documentation to prove their right to rent then you are required to oblige them.
What Happens After Things Revert?
When the rules revert after 30th September, then landlords will no longer be able to do checks over video calls. The pre-pandemic systems will once again be in place. However, you will still be able to make use of the Home Office’s online system.
If you have carried out any right to rent checks between 30th March 2020 and 30th September 2022, you do not need to take any action. If you used the Covid-19 adjusted system, these checks will stand. There is no need to recheck any of these tenants. However, as outlined above, it is important that you keep a record of the checks you have done in this way and note the reasons for doing so.
If you are new to renting properties and need any assessment services such as floor and lease plans or EAPs, we can help you. Contact us today to talk about your needs.