Right to Rent changes coming into place

  • Apr 5th 2022

Right to Rent is a government scheme introduced as part of The Immigration Act in 2014. It means landlords in England are responsible for checking if the people renting their properties have the legal right to live in England.

Before signing a tenancy agreement, UK residents need to show their passports and complete document checks to ensure they have the right to rent in England. Although this regulation was introduced in 2014, new changes will be introduced in April 2022. 

From April 6th, landlords and letting agents will have to carry out a digital Right to Rent check to review the immigration status of foreign nationals. Physical passports and resident permits will no longer be valid if they have a digital status. The Government is introducing these new measures to prevent fraud and ensure that anyone renting in England has the right to live in the UK. 

Digital or biometric checks already take place for UK nationals through their passport or driving license. The UK Government has been issuing biometric passports since 2010 to improve security at its borders. Digital border security checks are carried out at UK Airports. When you go through the border security check, you need to place your passport in the digital scanner, which checks your biometric data alongside your status before the gates open to let you in the country. Data held in passports within the chip is near impossible to replicate compared to a printed document.

The Government is also issuing a biometric residency permit and biometric resident cards for foreign nationals living in the UK. It holds vital biometric data, including a facial image and fingerprints like a passport. 

Foreign nationals can fill an online Right to Rent digital form to get a Share Code that can be conveyed to the landlord or the letting agent to carry out these digital checks. Similar to getting a Share Code for your driving license to show whether you have any points or not. 

However, if you don't have a digital resident status, you can still have a manual check done with your physical documents, such as your passport, and you will need to prove that you have the right to live and rent in the UK. 

Right to Rent applies to all foreign nationals, including those from the European Union since Britain's departure in July 2021. 

EU nationals who have the right to stay will be able to prove their residency status through their application and a Share Code which can be downloaded from the Government's website, 

Although checks for foreign nationals have become digital, checks on UK nationals are also becoming digital. From April 6th, landlords will be able to start using new Identity Service Providers and Identity Document Validation Technology for UK and Irish citizens. 

For those who have a recent passport or driving license, it means that you will have a biometric ID, and they will be able to carry out a digital check. Those with older documents will still be able to use these for the time being. 

Right to Rent has two groups (Unlimited Right to Rent) and (Time-limited Right to Rent). Unlimited Right to Rent includes British Citizens and people who have applied and have been awarded the right to stay. This no longer applies to EU, EEA or Swiss nationals. 

Time-limited Right to Rent applies to anyone outside the above categories. It applies to people to have a limited time to stay in the UK.

The Government believes in moving towards a standardised digital system to prevent fraud in the long-term and ensure that everyone living in the UK has the right to do so. 

From April 6th, these changes come into effect. At Seths, we ensure that we follow all regulations and keep you updated in advance on new ones coming into place or changes to existing ones. 

Did you know that as a landlord, you could be fined up to £30K per offence if you don't follow or miss regulations that are set in place?

Our dedicated will take care of every aspect, from finding the right tenant and ensuring all checks are carried out, placing the tenant's deposit in a Government Approved Scheme, rent collection and regular inspections.

To find out more about our managed service, speak with our dedicated team on 0116 266 9977.