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Right to Rent checks: latest guidance

Here’s a summary of the update on Right to Rent checks given by Rightmove’s Legal & Compliance Director David Cox on our News Hour webinar in March 2022. Click here to watch the replay here including the full Q&A where David answers dozens of questions from agents. You can also sign up for our next session to stay on top of other upcoming legislative changes.

What’s the latest guidance on Right to Rent checks?

The temporary measures put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic that said Right to Rent checks could be conducted over video calls, instead of in person, have been extended until 1st October 2022.  These had previously been announced to come to an end in April.

The government’s reason for this is to give you more time to adapt your processes ahead of the introduction of Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT). Specifically, they have said:

“Deferring the … date … ensures landlords have sufficient time to develop commercial relationships with identity service providers, make the necessary changes to their pre-tenancy checking processes and carry out responsible on-boarding of their chosen provider … or … put measures in place to enable face to face document checks if they do not wish to adopt digital checks for British and Irish citizens”.

From 1st October, you’ll no longer be able to validate somebody’s Right to Rent via a video call.

Read the full government guidance here

What measures are being introduced?

  • Landlords will be able to work with digital Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) to utilise Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to carry out digital identity checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport.
  • This is not mandatory. You’ll still be allowed to do checks using the old system of checking documents in person if the prospective tenant is an EU or Irish national.

What is an Identity Service Provider (IDSP)?

  • There will be two types: certified IDSPs and non-certified IDSPs.
  • It will not be mandatory to use a certified IDSP. However, the Home Office recommends you use a certified IDSP as it will provide assurance that they meet the standards set out in the certification framework.
  • Landlords will remain liable for the checks and using a certified IDSP reduces your risks of outsourcing this legal requirement.

How can you find a certified IDSP?

What checks will be required for tenants that aren’t EU or Irish nationals?

  • Physical copies of biometric resident cards and permits are no longer acceptable. Only electronic versions will be accepted.
  • Right to rent must instead be proven using the home office’s online portal. Here’s a link to the portal.

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