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Right to rent checks made easier for landlords

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The government has announced a new, online right to rent checking system, aimed at making it easier for landlords to complete the process.

right to rent checks

The measures, which could be introduced as early as November, follow changes to the scheme during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new system will allow prospective tenants to view their Home Office profile, including data about their eligibility to live in the UK. The tenant can then choose to share this information with a landlord, using an online access code, instead of showing physical documents.

Safeguards are being put in place to make sure that landlords can only see information relating to right to rent – not other data about the tenant.

Landlords of properties in England must check that someone has the right to rent before letting them a property, or face a penalty.

Right to rent is regarded as a controversial measure. Last year, the high court ruled that requiring landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants was racially discriminatory. However, in April, the Home Office successfully appealed against this judgement.

Immigration Minister Chris Philip said the online service would make it simpler for landlords to carry out the checks while offering them protection. “It allows checks to be carried out by video call, and landlords will not need to see documents as the right to rent information is provided in real time directly from Home Office systems,” he said.

In March, right to rent checks were temporarily adjusted due to coronavirus, meaning landlords could carry out checks over video calls and tenants could send scanned documents by email, rather than originals.

The new online system will be voluntary, with landlords still able to use the existing document-based checks while it becomes established.

Read more about this story on the National Residential Landlords Association website. Read an overview of right to rent checks on the government website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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