Increase In Right To Rent Checks

Massive Increase In Right To Rent Checks

It is claimed that a massive increase in Right To Rent checks have surged in the last twelve months by a gargantuan 577 per cent.

Civil fines for failing to carry out the scheme’s required Right to Rent checks have been sizeably increased with landlords and lettings agents’ penalties as high as £20,000. Agents and landlords in England have for some time been made responsible for outlawing prospective renters without the legally required lawful immigration status,

The PRS civil penalties for landlords and lettings agents have shot up from £80 per lodger up to £5,000 and from £1,000 per occupier up to £10,000 for a first breach. If agents or landlords are found out repeatedly breaching the Right To Rent requirements for tenants then it will now cost them £10,000 per lodger up from £500 and £20,000 increased from £3,000 per occupier.

Latest research has uncovered a massive increase in Right To Rent checks fines for failing to follow the scheme’s directives with the Q1 total of £165,680 which exceeds the £151,480 for the whole of last year.

The February updated guidance on the Right To Rent Scheme’s checks now require:

·      Face to face Right To Rent check with the prospective or housed tenants;
·      Right To Rent check using validated document technology – IDV;
·      The Home Office Right To Rent check

According to a government certified ID identity verification software company, the surge in Right To Rent checks in the past twelve months is solely down to the government’s campaign pressure and significant increases in non-compliancy civil penalties.

Chief executive Tim Barnett says: “In October 2022, the Home Office guidance on Right to Rent checks changed. Agents and landlords could no longer accept documents via email, and would instead need to use a certified IDV, or see documents in person. During the first three months of 2023, awareness and adoption of these changes was low and reflected in our stats.

“Another key factor driving Right to Rent checks is the growth of the rental market. Figures from the latest Hamptons Monthly Lettings Index show that that here were 28% more rental homes in the 12 months to April 2024 when compared to the same period in 2023.”

“Increasingly letting agents are embracing the latest technology to carry out certified ID checks. As a certified IDSP, our ID identity verification software has been developed using next-generation biometric facial recognition technology, enabling agents to perform ID checks in real-time and confirm that the ID matches the actual person.ID verification.”

However last week a new set of changes to the scheme’s rules were announced which according to the government will make it so much easier for landlords and lettings agents to check tenant’s status. Government officials promised that under the new regulations of the EU settlement Scheme, anybody with a ‘pre-settled status’ will be able to verify it quickly and easily.

The Home Office also announced that it will now extend the length of time accepted for ‘pre-settled status’ from two years to five years and will also  dispense with the pre-settled status expiry date on the online scheme’s checking service from digital profiles viewed by 3rd parties.

Landlords and lettings agents are no longer required to carry out a further Right To Rent check for any tenants that remain in a tenancy agreement.

Blog Post from PIMS

See details of our CHG Guaranteed Rent Scheme here

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