11:55 AM, 3rd October 2022, About 2 months ago
Landlords and letting agents in England have new Right to Rent rules to follow after measures that were brought in during the Covid lockdown ended.
And Propertymark, the professional body for property agents, is warning that the changes do not mean a return to in-person checks.
The rules changed on 1 October because Covid adjusted checks and the Brexit transition period ended – and the Home Office digitisation process was completed.
Timothy Douglas, the head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “A combination of factors mean it isn’t a straight return from video checks to in-person checks.
“There are different requirements depending on the status of the prospective tenant that agents need to familiarise themselves with.”
However, face-to-face checks must resume for British and Irish citizens replacing video calls which have been allowed since the start of the pandemic.
Agents and landlords can still complete the checks digitally, but to do so, they will be required to sign up to a UK Government-certified and paid-for digital identity service provider (IDSP).
Checks on overseas nationals will need to be made either via the Home Office’s real-time and free-to-access system using a digital share code and date of birth that the applicant must provide or using an IDSP.
For EU citizens without settled or pre-settled status, the list of ID eligible for checks has also been slimmed down because they must be processed as overseas nationals.
The Government has published updated guidance for landlords, agents and homeowners in England about the Right to Rent checks that must be carried out.
Mr Douglas said: “The new system of identity service providers offers the prospect of taking some of the work and risk away, but there are costs that agents will need to factor in which cannot be passed on under the tenant fees legislation.
“With high demand for rental properties, it is vital that agents are aware of the changes and understand the different ways that checks can be carried out.”
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