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Right to Rent changes – are landlords up to speed?

04 November 2020 552 Views
Right to Rent changes – are landlords up to speed?

In March 2020, the Home Office made a number of changes to the Right to Rent scheme to make it easier for landlords and agents to carry out checks.

The temporary changes, modified due to Covid-19, mean prospective tenants are allowed to submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have a right to rent in the UK. The Home Office also allows checks to be carried out via video calls.

Currently, entrants to the UK have access to an online page which includes their photograph and details of their rights to work and rent. Landlords and agents are then required to confirm that the photograph is of the correct person and also keep a copy of that web page for 12 months after the end of the tenancy.

Additional adjustments are set to be made to the Right to Rent system this month (from November 2), with an aim to make it simpler for landlords to complete the process. Prospective renters will also be able to view their official Home Office profile, which they can share with the landlord if they wish.

The Right to Rent regime for B5JSSK nations (those from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA) will also be altered.

How should landlords conduct a Right to Rent check during Covid?

As a landlord, you’re obligated to ask the tenant to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app.

It’s a good idea to arrange a video call with your tenant and ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents, for extra clarity.

Lastly, ensure that you record the date you made the check and mark it as “an adjusted check has been undertaken on [insert date] due to Covid-19”.

Full details on conducting Right to Rent checks during coronavirus can be found here.

Once the temporary changes end, you will be asked to carry out the full checks on existing tenants who rented a property during the pandemic.

If a prospective or existing tenant is unable to provide any of the accepted documents, consider using the Landlord Checking Service.

Here at Angels Sales & Lettings, we can guide you through the lettings process and more. For more information on our services in Enfield and Newham, please get in touch with us on 0800 043 6778.

We also offer a free and instant online valuation to give you an estimate on how much you could be charging in rent each month.

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