Landlords who let private property in England or take in lodgers could face a civil penalty if they let their property to someone who does not have the right to rent. Landlords who carry out the required checks and retain appropriate copies will have a statutory excuse against civil penalty.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Landlords have been able to carry out Right to Rent checks virtually.  The Home Office have now announced that these temporary measures have been extended to 5 April 2022. From this date, the Government’s Covid-19 temporary measures will no longer be in force and Landlords may be required to carry out face to face checks or use the Home Office’s online Right To Rent check service. It is likely that the Home Office will issue new guidance ahead of the end of the temporary measures on 5 April 2022.

Currently, a Landlord can check the Right to Rent virtually by carrying out the following procedure:

  • Asking the Tenant to send a scanned copy or photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile App.
  • Arrange a video call with at Tenant during which the individual can hold up the original documents to the camera and the Landlord can then check them against the digital copy of the documents.
  • Record the date the Landlord made the check and mark it as “Adjusted Check undertaken on [date undertaken] due to Covid-19”.

An online Right to Rent check can be carried out if the proposed Tenant is in possession of one of the following and consents to the check being carried out:

  • A current Biometric residence permit
  • A current Biometric residence card
  • Status under the Home Office’s European Union Settled Status Scheme (EUSS).
  • Permission to remain under the UK’s Points Based System (PBS)

For more information on Right to Rent checks and any other immigration matter, please get in touch with our Immigration Team.