Propertymark urges agents to prepare for Right to Rent changes coming into force on 6 April 2022

Toby Weiss

Toby Weiss

Corporate Marketing Manager at Reapit

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Propertymark has urged agents to “get ahead of the game” and prepare for changes to Right to Rent that will come into force from 6 April.

Temporary adjustments to Right to Rent checks due to the pandemic are ending on 5 April 2022 and Propertymark has urged agents to “get ahead of the game” and prepare for changes that will come into force from 6 April.

The UK Government’s plans to digitise the immigration system with legislative changes coming into force on 6 April 2022 will significantly impact how letting agents and landlords in England conduct Right to Rent checks.

The checks require landlords and lettings agents operating in England to determine the immigration status of all prospective adult tenants by checking ID before the start of a tenancy. Checks do not need to be carried out on tenants in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.

Letting agents and landlords can use the Right to Rent Online Checking Service on GOV.UK to view the immigration status of existing and prospective tenants. There is no need to check physical documents when using the online checking service, as information about an individual’s Right to Rent is provided in real-time directly from Home Office systems. 

From 6 April 2022, landlords and letting agents will need to use the Right to Rent Online Checking Service for Biometric Residence Card / Permit holders. After this date, it will no longer be possible to use an individual’s Biometric Residence Card / Permit for a manual Right to Rent check. A Biometric Residence Permit is proof of the holder’s right to stay, work or study in the UK.

Retrospective checks will not be required on Biometric Residence Cardholders who, before 6 April 2022, used a physical document to demonstrate their Right to Rent. However, if landlords and letting agents choose to undertake a retrospective online check and identify that an existing tenant no longer has a Right to Rent, landlords and letting agents must make a report to the Home Office using the online form, to maintain a statutory excuse against prosecution and comply with the rules.  

In addition, from 6 April 2022 landlords and letting agents will be able to use certified Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (or Irish passport card).

Timothy Douglas, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Propertymark said:

“The immigration system is digitising and letting agents operating in England need to be aware that the UK Government is moving away from a system reliant on individuals proving their Right to Rent through physical documents to a more streamlined digital system. The changes are three months away and agents are urged to get ahead of the game and take the time now to understand how it will impact them going forward.”

Resources

News: Agents urged to prepare for Right to Rent changes

Guidance: Right to Rent checks – information for landlords

Guidance: Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks

Guidance: Penalties for illegal renting

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