New Legislation on Right to Rent Checks

Date Published 30 April 2022

The 6th April 2022 saw new legislation changing how Right to Rent checks are conducted by landlords and letting agents in England.

What's changing?

From 6th April 2022, landlords and letting agents will be able to use a certified Identity Service Provider (IDSP) to check the identity and eligibility of British and Irish citizens to rent in the UK.
These providers will use digital identity document validation technology (IDVT) to complete these checks.

It is currently unclear whether any IDSPs will be ready and accredited by the time the 6th of April comes around, and the government has delayed the end of the COVID adjustments until 30th September 2022 to give landlords and agents time to research these providers and onboard them responsibly.

In line with the new Code of Practice, landlords and letting agents will not be able to discriminate against UK and Irish citizens who choose to have their documents checked manually. Agents and landlords should offer both services to ensure compliance but can state that one is preferred over the other.

What is an IDSP?

IDSPs are 'approved companies' that will be responsible for validating the identity of prospective or existing tenants on behalf of landlords. They will need to be accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), meet the requirements of the UK Digital Identity Attributes Trust Framework and have suitable systems in place to keep all tenants' information securely. Once ready, a full list of certified providers will be published on the government's website.

My tenant is not a UK or Irish citizen, how do I check their Right to Rent?

If your tenant is not a UK or Irish citizen, there are two other systems you can use to check their Right to Rent.

They have applied for EU settled status, have an ongoing immigration application or appeal or have a right to rent for a limited time period, you should use the Home Office Landlord Checking Service.

They are from abroad and have a Biometric Residency Card or Permit, E-Visa or EU Settled status, these checks will need to be completed online using the Home Office Checking Service. From 6th April, these documents will no longer be able to be checked manually.

Penalties for non-compliance

If landlords or letting agents fail to comply with this new legislation, they could be faced with a civil penalty or even prosecution if the correct Right to Rent checks aren't completed

For the most up to date legislative advice, even if you aren't client of ours, contact our experienced, licenced and regulated team.