Date Published 30 June 2021
Right to Rent uncertainty ‘will inevitably cause problems for landlords and letting agents'.
Since the end of the transition phase, there has been a grace period on Right to Rent checks, due to come to an end today.
According to the Home Office, agents/landlords will from tomorrow be required to move from checking nationality to checking the UK immigration status of all adult applicants.
From this point, if someone is an EEA, EU, or Swiss national, you will need to see evidence of their UK immigration status rather than their national identification.
Those EEA citizens resident in the UK who have made an application for settled status will have been provided with digital evidence of their UK immigration status, and will be able to evidence their Right to Rent by sharing their immigration status digitally, using the Home Office's online Right to Rent service on gov.uk.
Other EEA and Swiss citizens, however, will have different evidence of their status in the UK, typically held in a physical document such as a visa.
Digital status checks can be conducted by video call permanently, while hard copy checks will still need to be conducted in person.
The terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement state that EU citizens already living in the UK by the end of 2020 can remain with guaranteed rights, with the right to apply for permanent residence after five years, assuming they apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
However, from July 1, those who have not already applied face losing essential rights they have enjoyed up to now – including the right to rental accommodation.
With so many still in the system, waiting to be approved before the end of this month, we could have a situation from July where the status of hundreds of thousands of people is unknown or in limbo,
This will inevitably cause problems for letting agents and landlords when it comes to confirming people's eligibility to rent.
Due to the pandemic, letting agents and landlords have been able to conduct Right to Rent checks via video calls – a temporary measure which has now been extended to the end of August, but it is not yet clear what will happen thereafter.
If you are unsure of your legal requirements as a landlord or tenant and would like to have them explained to you, even if you aren't a client of ours, get in touch with us.