Right To Rent Checking Service Central Housing Group

Regulations to launch online Right to Rent check service published

Landlords could soon be able to use a new online service to check the Right to Rent status of a prospective tenant.

In a statement by Immigration Minister Chris Philip MP this week, the new online Right to Rent checking service could be launched as soon as November with new regulations; the Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) (Amendment) Order 2020, laid before parliament this week.

How the online Right to Rent checks could work

In a statement about the online Right to Rent checks, Chris Philip MP said that the service will work on the basis of an individual first viewing their home office profile, and they may share this information with a landlord if they wish by providing the landlord with a “share code” which can be used to access the prospective tenant’s record. This authorisation represents an important safeguard and means landlords will only be able to view an individual’s right to rent information, and no other unrelated personal information.

  • Landlords will be able to undertake either the online check or the existing document-based check; online checks will, therefore, be a voluntary option whilst migrants and landlords develop familiarity with the new service and take-up becomes more widespread. EEA citizens will continue to be able to demonstrate their entitlement to rent to landlords by showing a valid passport or national ID card until 30th June 2021.

In England, landlords are normally required to carry out Right to Rent checks of prospective tenants. This requires a landlord to meet all adult occupiers in person before the tenancy is signed, and check they have one, or potentially two valid documents to show they have a right to rent in England.

However due to the coronavirus pandemic, Right to Rent checks were temporarily adjusted by the Government for landlords to be able to carry them out differently. This means that:

  • checks can 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’s Checking Service if a prospective or existing tenant cannot provide any of the existing documents

The Minister has also said that:

  • Landlords will be able to undertake a right to rent check in real time for non-EEA citizens with a valid biometric resident permit or card, or an EEA citizen with status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme. In addition, the Order makes sure that landlords will be able to undertake online checks on those whose leave will be granted under the new points-based system.
  • The online service makes it “simpler for landlords to carry out the checks and protects them. It allows checks to be carried out by video call, and landlords will not need to see documents as the right to rent information is provided in real time directly from Home Office systems.”
  • The service works on the basis of the individual first viewing their own Home Office profile. They may then share this information with a landlord if they wish, by providing the landlord with a ‘share code’, which can be used to access the prospective tenant’s record. This authorisation represents an important safeguard and means landlords will only be able to view an individual’s right to rent information, and no other unrelated personal information.
  • Landlords will be able to undertake either the online check or the existing document-based check; online checks will, therefore, be a voluntary option whilst migrants and landlords develop familiarity with the new service and take-up becomes more widespread. EEA citizens will continue to be able to demonstrate their entitlement to rent to landlords by showing a valid passport or national ID card until 30th June 2021.

Blog Post from NRLA

See details of our Guaranteed Rent Scheme here

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