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Right to Rent checks & COVID-19: Government advice


On March 30th, the Government published updated guidance around conducting Right to Rent checks during the pandemic. Digest their full guidance on this link or read below for a snapshot of the changes.

Temporary changes to Right to Rent checks

Right to Rent checks are still necessary and you must continue to check the documents usually prescribed as part of the regulations. You’ll still be breaking the law if you knowingly lease a premises to somebody who is not lawfully in the UK.

However, the usual requirements for checking those documents have been temporarily adjusted to make it easier for agents and landlords to carry out the checks. As of March 30th:

  • Checks can be carried out over video calls
  • Tenants don’t have to send originals – they can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app
  • If a prospective or existing tenant can’t provide any of the existing documents, landlords should use the Landlords’ Checking service.

How to conduct a Right to Rent check in the current circumstances

  • Ask the tenant to send you a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents using email or an app
  • Arrange a video call with the tenant. Ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copies they’ve sent you
  • Record the data you made the check and mark it as “an adjusted check has been undertaken on <insert date> due to COVID-19”

After the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

The Government will let you know in advance when the measures will end. After that, you must revert back to the old checking process.

You must also carry out retrospective checks on tenants who started their tenancy during this period, or who required a follow-up check during the period.

We’re running regular webinars with Propertymark to help keep you informed of any Government updates in this fast-moving situation. Check out the schedule on hub.rightmove.co.uk/support for our upcoming sessions, and recordings of recent live webinars you might’ve missed.