New extension to emergency right rent measures

Emergency right to rent measures introduced to minimise face-to-face contact will now be in place until the end of August the Government has announced.

Adjusted checks were introduced in March last year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and were originally due to end on June 20. However, the Government has confirmed the period will now be extended to give landlords more time to adjust. The need to physically check documents will apply from September 1.

What is the situation now?

As of March 30, last year the Government allowed right to rent checks to be performed by:

  • Asking any prospective adult occupier to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents from two document lists (A or B) via email or using a mobile app.
  • Arranging a video call with the prospective occupier and asking them to hold up the document on screen to check against the copy you were sent.
  • Recording the date the check was made and marking a copy of the scanned document with the phrase “an adjusted check has been undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19” satisfied the tenant has a right to rent.

Landlords can now continue to carry out checks in this way until August 31.

What happens from September 1?

From 1 September 2021, landlords must check the prescribed documents as set out in the right to rent code of practice and the landlord’s guide, published on GOV.UK here. This means that when carrying out a document check the landlord must be in possession of the original documents and can no longer accept a scanned copy or a photo of original documents. Alternatively, where applicable landlords can use the Home Office online right to rent service which does not require them to see or check the individual’s documents in person. Instead, it allows entrants to the UK to enter their details, including a photograph on a Government’s site. A prospective tenant can then give access to the site to their landlord or agent by providing a ‘share code’ and their date of birth. This will allow the landlord to carry out the checks.

Are retrospective checks required?

There is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive). While retrospective checks were part of the Government’s original plans, they have been abandoned due to the length of time emergency restrictions were in place.

What about the changes to right to rent checks for EU Nationals?

Changes regarding renting to EU and EEA nationals are due to be introduced on July 1. This date will not change. For more details about the changes click here. 

What to do next

The above is our attempt to summarise and article from the NRLA for further information on this and other topics either contact them direct or contact Tony on 07974-418819 or email at or through the contact page of the website

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