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Landlords and agents marketing residential property to rent in England have been given a further two months to prepare for the return of full ‘Right to Rent’ checks after Covid ‘Freedom Day’ was delayed by an additional four weeks to 19th July.

The Home Office has published new guidance on how to deliver the checks at the end of the grace period following Britain’s exit from the EU.

From 1 July 2021, the majority of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are residing in the UK  have to prove their legal right to live in the country using the Home Office online service. Those who have made a successful application to the EU Settlement Scheme will have been provided with digital evidence​​​​of thei​​​​​​​r status.

Digital  checks can continue by video call - as they have since March 2020 - until the end of August but there’s no word yet on what will happen​​​​​​​ afterwards yet as a large backlog seems almost inevitable. Tenants can send scanned documen​​​​​​​ts or a photog​​​​​​​raph of documents via email or a mobile app rather than the originals. Hard copy checks will still need to be conducted in person.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

From 1 September 2021, agents must revert to face-to-face document checks other than applicants with the Home Office digi​​​​​​​tal share code. The share​​​​​​​ code enables landlords or agents to chec​​​​​​​k UK immigration status rather than nationality as part of a real time online service. EU and EEC passports alone will no longer be acceptable. Landlords or agents will be able to create a statutory excuse against  liability for a civil pena​​​​​​​lty if following these procedures.

In order to prevent discrimination against non-UK citizens, the government have re-iterated ALL private sector tenants over 18 applying to rent must comply with these Right to Rent rules.

Retrospective checks on those who had a Covid-19 adjusted assessment between 30th March 2020 and 31st August 2021 will not be needed.

I hope this helps but please ask us for advice if unsure - we do have over 30 years experience in lettings!

Jeremy Leaf & Co.