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Huge surge in Right To Rent checks as non-compliance fines soar

There’s been a surge in Right to Rent checks - up 577% year on year.

Under the Right to Rent Scheme, civil penalty fines for non-compliance have increased significantly since earlier this year, with penalties of up to £20,000 for landlords and lettings agents who fail to comply with the rules. All landlords and letting agents in England have a responsibility to prevent those without lawful immigration status from accessing the private rented sector. 

The civil penalty for landlords and letting agents has been raised from £80 per lodger and £1,000 per occupier, to up to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier for a first breach. Repeat breaches are now £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupier, up from £500 and £3,000 respectively. Recent research reveals a rise in fines issued to agents this year, with Q1 recording £165,680, which is greater than the whole of 2023 (£151,480.)


The updated guidance on checks made after February 14 requires the following checks - a manual Right to Rent check in person; Right to Rent check using identity document validation technology (IDV); and the Home Office Right to Rent check.

According to Credas Technologies, the surge in Right to Rent checks over the last 12 months is mainly due to this increased Government pressure to drive compliance.

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.”

The latest changes to ‘Right to Rent’ rules announced last week will make it easier for letting agents and landlords to check the status of tenants, the Government promises. Under new Right to Rent regulations of the EU Settlement Scheme, anyone with ‘pre-settled status’ will be able to prove it easily, officials say.

The Home Office also said it will change the duration of ‘pre-settled status’ extensions from two to five years. It will also remove the pre-settled status expiry date from the digital profiles shown to third parties in the online checking services for Right to Rent. Alongside this change, letting agents and landlords will not be required to conduct a further Right to Rent check where the individual remains in a tenancy agreement.

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  • icon

    I love the Share Code system for international tenants but find the IDV checks for UK nationals very unreliable.
    The referencing company I use charges £3 extra to carry out the check and have so far failed to do any of them. For whatever reason the tenants find it impossible to follow the instructions. One failed because of NFC settings (whatever that is), 2 more couldn't upload documents because something was pending. So £9 completely wasted and I will still need to see the passports when they arrive in September.

    Why is it so much easier for international tenants? Surely someone should be able to do something just as easy for UK applicants.

  • George Dawes

    One way of getting rid of those pesky private landlords

    Fine them into financial oblivion

  • icon

    Spot on George!

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    I will not even consider a prospective Tenant who isnt a British Citizen and can prove it 6467 different ways!

  • icon

    Sarah, same for me. If no British passport, there is always 10 more better prospective renters that have 1.

    When you read the news I could commit serious crimes and get away with a lot less of a fine than I could get if I rented a house to someone and messed up on doing the governments job for them.
    Or any of the fines that a landlord can get.

    They are just outrageous. Anyone is better off investing outside of the UK these days.


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