Home Office updates COVID-19 Right to Rent guidance

Toby Weiss

Toby Weiss

Content Marketing Manager at Reapit

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Home Office updates Right to Rent guidance v3-min

Right to Rent guidance published on the GOV.UK website stipulating the grounds for landlords carrying out right to rent checks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been updated to reflect the return of in-person Right to Rent checks from 17 May 2021.

The temporary adjustments to the Right to Rent check introduced on 30 March 2020 due to COVID-19 are coming to an end on 16 May 2021. Under the current temporary changes:

  • checks can currently be carried out over video calls.
  • tenants can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals.
  • landlords should use the Landlord Checking Service if a prospective or existing tenant cannot provide any of the accepted documents.

Checks remain necessary and landlords must continue to check the prescribed documents set out in Landlords Guide to Right to Rent or use the online right to rent checking service.

In-person Right to Rent checks will resume from 17 May, from which point, landlords must either: check the applicant’s original documents, or check the applicant’s right to rent online – if they have provided their share code.

Retrospective Right to Rent checks will not be required on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021 (inclusive). This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports landlords during this difficult time.

However, landlords must maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check they have undertaken during this period was done in the prescribed manner or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance.

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