To help reduce the administrative burden for landlords and to limit their exposure to the coronavirus, the need for Right to Rent checks are being eased, reports Landlord Today.
The Right to Rent scheme was introduced by the government as a form of immigration control – those who are unable to prove the legal basis for their residence in the UK have no right to rent property in the country.
Under the scheme, landlords have been required to collect the full name and date of birth of every member of the household to whom they let a property. Original documents must then be submitted to verify that each member of the household has legal permission to stay in the UK.
During the coronavirus emergency, however, landlords have now been told that original documents no longer need to be submitted and that scanned evidence will be acceptable showing tenants’ right to live, work and rent in the UK.
To reduce the risk of exposure through face to face contact, landlords may now also conduct the necessary right to rent checks via online video calls.
There is no suggestion that the need to demonstrate a right to rent is being lifted. Landlords continue to be guilty of an offence if they knowingly let their property to one or more tenants who are illegally resident in the UK. When the current relaxation of the rules on acceptable documentary evidence comes to an end, landlords will again be required to conduct the full right to rent checks.