New Right to Rent Code of Practice

New Right to Rent Code of Practice

9:04 AM, 6th April 2022, About 2 months ago 10

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The Home Office has issued guidance for landlords, and letting agents on the introduction of new Right to Rent immigration checks coming into force today 6th April 2022. Click here

From 6 April 2022, landlords can use Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) via the services of an IDSP to complete the digital identity verification element of Right to Rent checks for British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport.

The code of practice details:

  • if your property is affected
  • if any exemptions apply
  • how to carry out a right to rent check
  • what documents individuals can show you as evidence of their right to rent
  • when and how to request a right to rent check from the Home Office
  • how to avoid unlawful discrimination when conducting immigration right to rent checks
  • how the civil penalty scheme works

List of acceptable documents for right to rent checks

The documents that are considered acceptable for establishing a statutory excuse when conducting a manual right to rent check are set out in two lists, List A and List B.

Where a right to rent check has been conducted using the Home Office online service, the information is provided in real-time, directly from Home Office systems and there is no requirement to see any or a combination of any of the documents listed below.

List A contains the range of documents which may be accepted for checking purposes for a person who has a permanent right to rent in the UK (including British and Irish citizens). If landlords carry out the prescribed checks, they will establish a continuous statutory excuse for the duration of that person’s tenancy. The landlord is required to check one document from List A (Group 1) or two documents from List A (Group 2).

List B contains the range of documents which may be accepted for checking purposes for a person who has a time-limited right to rent in England. If landlords carry out the prescribed checks, they will establish a time-limited statutory excuse. Landlords will be required to carry out a follow-up check as set out below.

Examples of the documents, how to check them and how to copy them can be found in the Right to Rent Checks: A user guide for tenants and landlords.

List A – acceptable documents to establish a continuous statutory excuse

If a prospective tenant can produce either one document from group 1 or two documents from group 2 then they will not require a follow-up check.

List A Group 1 – If a prospective tenant can produce one document from this group then a continuous statutory excuse will be established

  1. A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British citizen, or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the ‘right of abode’ in the UK.
  2. A passport or passport card (in either case, whether current or expired) showing that the holder is an Irish citizen.
  3. A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Home Office Landlord Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted unlimited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU(J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
  4. A passport or other travel document (in either case, whether current or expired) endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK..
  5. An immigration status document (current or expired) containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the person named in it is allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely or has no time limit on their stay in the UK.
  6. A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

List A Group 2 – If a prospective tenant can produce any two documents from this group then a continuous statutory excuse will be established

  1. A birth certificate issued in the UK[footnote 2].
  2. An adoption certificate issued in the UK.
  3. A birth certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland.
  4. An adoption certificate issued in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or Ireland.
  5. A letter which:

(a) is issued by a government department or local authority no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented

(b) is signed by a named official stating their name and professional address

(c) confirms the holder’s name

(d) confirms that the holder has accessed services from that department or authority or is otherwise known to that department or authority.

  1. A letter which:

(a) is issued no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented

(b) is signed by a British passport holder who is or has been a professional person or who is otherwise of good standing in their community[footnote 3]

(c) confirms the holder’s name

(d) states how long the signatory has known the holder, such period being of at least three months’ duration, and in what capacity

(e) states the signatory’s name, address, profession, place of work and passport number

  1. A letter issued by a person who employs the holder no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented, which indicates the holder’s name and confirming their status as an employee and employee reference number or National Insurance number and states the employer’s name and business address.
  2. A letter issued by a police force in the UK no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented, confirming that the holder has been the victim of a crime in which a document listed in List A (Group 1) belonging to the holder has been stolen and stating the crime reference number.
  3. An identity card or document issued by one of Her Majesty’s forces or the Secretary of State confirming that the holder is or has been a serving member in any of Her Majesty’s forces.
  4. A letter issued by Her Majesty’s Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service or the Northern Ireland Prison Service confirming that the holder has been released from the custody of that service no longer than six months before the date on which that letter is presented, and confirming their name and date of birth.
  5. A letter issued no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented by an officer of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, an officer of a local authority in Scotland who is a responsible officer for the purposes of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 or an officer of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland confirming the holder’s name and date of birth and confirming that the holder is the subject of an order requiring supervision by that officer.
  6. A current licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (to include the photocard licence in respect of licences issued on or after 1st July 1998) or Part 2 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 (to include the photocard licence).
  7. A certificate issued no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented, by the Disclosure and Barring Service under Part V of the Police Act 1997, the Scottish Ministers under Part 2 of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 or the Secretary of State under Part V of the Police Act 1997 in relation to the holder.
  8. A document, or a screen shot of an electronic document, issued no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented, by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development or a local authority confirming that the holder is in receipt of a benefit listed in section 115(1) or (2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  9. A letter which:

(a) is issued no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented

(b) is issued by a public authority, voluntary organisation or charity in the course of a scheme operated to assist individuals to secure accommodation in the private rented sector in order to prevent or resolve homelessness

(c) confirms the holder’s name

(d) states the address of a prospective tenancy which the authority, organisation or charity is assisting the holder to obtain.

  1. A letter which:

(a) is issued by a further or higher education institution in the UK

(b) confirms that the holder has been accepted on a current course of studies at that institution

(c) states the name of the institution and the name and duration of the course.

List B – acceptable documents to establish a time-limited statutory excuse

If a prospective tenant can produce one document from this group, then a time-limited statutory excuse will be established. A follow-up check will be required within the timescales outlined in Eligibility Periods.

  1. A current passport or travel document endorsed to show that the holder is allowed to stay in the UK for a ‘time-limited period’.
  2. A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder, with a valid endorsement indicating that the holder has been granted limited leave to enter or remain in, the UK.
  3. A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey or the Isle of Man, which has been verified as valid by the Landlord Checking Service, showing that the holder has been granted limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU(J) to the Jersey Immigration Rules, Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules.
  4. A document issued by the Bailiwick of Jersey or the Bailiwick of Guernsey, or Isle of Man, showing that the holder has made an application for limited leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Jersey Immigration Rules or Appendix EU to the Immigration (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Rules 2008 or Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules (as the case may be), together with a Positive Right to Rent Notice issued by the Home Office Landlord Checking Service.
  5. A document issued by the Home Office, confirming an application for leave to enter or remain, under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (known as the EU Settlement Scheme), made on or before 30 June 2021 together with a Positive Right to Rent Notice issued by the Home Office Landlord Checking Service.
  6. A Certificate of Application (digital or non-digital) issued by the Home Office showing that the holder has made an application for leave to enter or remain, under Appendix EU to the immigration rules (known as the EU Settlement Scheme), on or after 1 July 2021, together with a Positive Right to Rent Notice issued by the Home Office Landlord Checking Service.
  7. A passport of a national of an EEA country, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or the USA who is a visitor to the UK together with evidence of travel to the UK that provides documentary evidence of the date of arrival in the UK in the preceding six months.

Using an Identity Service Provider (IDSP)

From 6 April 2022, landlords can use Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) via the services of an IDSP to complete the digital identity verification element of right to rent checks for British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (including Irish passport cards).

Digital identity verification conducted by IDSPs is the process of obtaining evidence of the prospective tenant’s identity, checking that it is valid and belongs to the person who is claiming it.

If landlords use the services of an IDSP for digital identity verification, holders of valid British or Irish passports (or Irish passport cards) can demonstrate their right to rent using this method. This will provide landlords with a continuous statutory excuse. It is the landlord’s responsibility to obtain the IDVT check from the IDSP. Landlords will only have a statutory excuse if they reasonably believe that the IDSP has carried out their checks in accordance with guidance issued here:

Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks.

Landlords must not treat less favourably those who do not hold a valid passport, or do not wish to prove their identity and eligibility using an IDSP. Landlords must provide individuals with other ways to prove their right to rent and should carry out a manual document-based right to rent check in these circumstances.

For a detailed guide on how to complete a right to rent check, including detailed guidance on using an IDSP, please refer to: Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks.

Basic steps to conducting a RTR check using an IDSP:

  1. IDSPs can carry out digital identity verification to a range of standards or levels of confidence. The Home Office recommends that landlords only accept checks via an IDSP that satisfy a minimum of a Medium Level of Confidence. A list of certified providers is available for you to choose from on GOV.UK: Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks not mandatory for you to use a certified provider; you may use a provider not featured within this list if you are satisfied that they are able to provide the required checks.
  2. Landlords must satisfy themselves that the photograph and biographic details (e.g. date of birth) on the IDVT output are consistent with the individual seeking to rent the property (i.e. the information provided by the check relates to the individual and they are not an imposter).
  3. Landlords must retain a clear copy of the IDVT identity check output for the duration of the tenancy and for one year after the tenancy has come to an end.

Should landlords be found to be renting to individuals without their identity and eligibility being verified correctly in the prescribed manner, you will not have a statutory excuse in the event the individual is found to be renting illegally by reason of their immigration status. The landlord remains liable for any civil penalty if there is no statutory excuse.

Conducting a Home Office online right to rent check

Landlords can conduct a check by accessing the Home Office online service ‘View a tenant’s right to rent in England’ on GOV.UK. The online service allows checks to be carried out by video call, and landlords do not need to see physical documents as the right to rent information is provided in real-time, directly from Home Office systems.

Currently, the Home Office online service supports checks for a range of individuals, depending on the type of immigration documentation they are issued. The use of digital proof of immigration status forms part of our move towards a UK immigration system that is digital by default. This will be simpler, safer and more convenient. A full list of those who can access the Home Office online service is in our guidance, available on GOV.UK at: Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks.

Some individuals have been issued with an eVisa and can only use the online service to prove their right to rent.

Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders are also only able to evidence their right to rent using the Home Office online service. This means landlords cannot accept or check a physical BRC, BRP or FWP as proof of right to rent.

There are three basic steps to conducting a Home Office online right to rent check:

  1. use the Home Office online right to rent checking service ‘View a tenant’s right to rent in England’ page on GOV.UK in respect of an individual and only rent to the person or enter in to a tenancy agreement with the person, if the online check confirms they have the right to rent;
  2. landlords must satisfy themselves that the photograph on the online right to rent check is of the individual; and
  3. retain a clear copy of the response provided by the online right to rent check (storing that response securely, electronically or in hardcopy) for the duration of the tenancy and for one year after the tenancy has come to an end.

If the Home Office online right to rent check does not confirm that the individual has a right to rent, the landlord will not have a statutory excuse if they enter into a tenancy agreement with them.

The Home Office Landlord Checking Service

In certain circumstances, a landlord may need to contact the Home Office Landlord Checking Service (LCS) to verify an individual’s right to rent and establish a statutory excuse. The landlord should contact the LCS when the individual:

  • has a document (a non-digital CoA or an acknowledgement letter or email) confirming receipt of an application to the EUSS on or before 30 June 2021
  • has a digital or non-digital CoA confirming the individual has made a valid application to the EUSS on or after 1 July, and is directed to the LCS
  • is an asylum seeker or has an appeal pending against a determination in respect of their asylum claim
  • has an ongoing immigration application or appeal with the Home Office
  • has their documents with the Home Office
  • has been granted permission to rent by the Home Office.

The LCS can confirm if Home Office records show that the applicant has lawful status and, if appropriate, will issue a Positive Right to Rent Notice (a ‘yes’ response).

The statutory excuse will continue from the expiry date of an existing tenant’s permission for a further period of up to 28 days to enable the landlord to obtain a ‘yes’ response from the Landlord Checking Service. This ’28-day period’ does not apply to checks carried out before the start of a tenancy. In such circumstances, the landlord should delay entering into a tenancy agreement with the individual until they have received a ‘yes’ response from the Landlord Checking Service.

For individuals who make an application to the EUSS on or after 1 July 2021, please refer to the Right to rent Checks: Landlord’s guide for further information.

How: A landlord must request verification of right to rent from the Home Office’s Landlord Checking Service using ‘Request a Home Office right to rent check’ on GOV.UK.

This is a different process to the online checking services described in Conducting a Home Office online right to rent check.

The Landlord Checking Service will respond to the landlord with a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response within two working days. This will only be sent to the landlord by the Landlord Checking Service and will contain a unique reference number.

The information provided by the Landlord Checking Service will clearly set out whether a check will be required, and if so, when.

If the Landlord Checking Service has not considered the request within two working days, an automatic response will be sent to the landlord informing them that they can let their property to the prospective tenant. Any response from the Home Office Landlord Checking Service must be retained in order to maintain a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty.

Please note that the Landlord Checking Service is for the use of landlords and agents only.



Comments

by DSR

9:26 AM, 6th April 2022, About 2 months ago

having read and digested all this surely I now qualify as a Home Office employee?

by Gromit

10:02 AM, 6th April 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 06/04/2022 - 09:26
....or Border Farce Officer.

by Gromit

10:03 AM, 6th April 2022, About 2 months ago

....or Border Farce Officer.

by moneymanager

10:10 AM, 6th April 2022, About 2 months ago

If the country had robust immigration procedures, we wouldn't need "statutory excuse" for not doing the Home Office's job for it.

by moneymanager

10:24 AM, 6th April 2022, About 2 months ago

List A Group 2 Sub paper 5, 1
"
A letter which:

(a) is issued no longer than three months before the date on which it is presented

(b) is signed by a British passport holder who is or has been a professional person or who is otherwise of good standing in their community[footnote 3]

(c) confirms the holder’s name

(d) states how long the signatory has known the holder, such period being of at least three months’ duration, and in what capacity

(e) states the signatory’s name, address, profession, place of work and passport number

Footnote 3 has a list as long as your publican's arm, presumably you would have to either "take their word of it" in terms of their statment and passport number, this is a scammer's charter.

by TheSwan

3:45 AM, 7th April 2022, About 2 months ago

As landlords with a small handful of properties we really are considering selling each property as the tenants choose to leave. Too many rules and too many potential fines. We just need a new venture......

by David Price

7:55 AM, 7th April 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by TheSwan at 07/04/2022 - 03:45
This will mean that the government will have achieved its objective of purging the sector which would have helped to solve the housing crisis. Clever?

by DSR

9:26 AM, 7th April 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 07/04/2022 - 07:55
...but like The Swan, I am sick of being the apparent hero and bad guy at the same time.
I am seeing selling up as a way of just throwing back the problem to those that caused it....

The trouble is The Swan..most tenants can't or wont leave as a result of the housing crisis. There is a lack of housing = lack of choice = more expensive rents etc so the choice to move is not an option. For those on benefits even less choice..

the reality is if you want to sell up you have to give notice to the tenant first and if they can't leave they will stay and fight as long as they cant. At the mo you have the S21 route but when that is abolished its a Section 8 with you having to give reason.
That inevitably means a drawn out court process which they will contest at every turn.

So what do you do? Welcome to Landlord Limbo Land :(.... in the meantime you have EPC upgrades and probably licencing to contend with as you wont be able to continue renting without spending time and money ticking these boxes....

THE perfect s#it storm....

by I live in Reading

19:25 PM, 8th April 2022, About 2 months ago

So, I have just opened the .Gov Landlords Guide to right to rent guidance document..
"86 Pages of legislation"
Wonderful....

by LaLo

20:11 PM, 9th April 2022, About 2 months ago

When I’ve looked at various documents, I don’t no what I’m looking at as I don’t know what they ‘should’ look like!


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