The Home Office has issued updated guidance on the Right to Rent immigration checks for landlords, letting agents and property professionals with residential tenancy agreements in England.

The new guidance details:

  • What documents can now be used as evidence for Right to Rent.
  • When to request a Right to Rent check from the Home Office.
  • Further guidance to enable employers to use Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to carry out digital identity checks, as part of a right to work verification.
  • The Civil penalties for illegal renting.
  • If your property is affected.
  • Whether exemptions apply.

Identity Document Verification Technology

The most significant update to the guidance relates to how agents and landlords can now perform identity checks. From 6th April 2022, renters will need to prove their right to rent using the Home Office online service, see the list of approved providers here, instead of having documentation checked manually.

Agents and Landlords can no longer accept or check a physical Biometric Residence Permits and Cards (BRP & BRC), or Frontier Worker permit FWP as valid proof of right to rent, even if it shows a later expiry date.  

Instead, they should now use Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) via the services of an IDSP (digital identity service provider) to complete the digital identity verification of Right to Rent checks for British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport. 

Agents and Landlords will maintain a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty if the initial check was undertaken in line with the guidance that applied at the time the check was made.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Right to Rent can still be conducted virtually until 30 September, 2022.

To read the updated Right to Rent Checks: A guide to immigration documents for tenants and landlords click here.

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