Right to Rent Checks

Recent Announcements Regarding EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office has issued another iteration of its guidance for London estate agents on how to conduct Right To Rent checks.

The previous update was on July 6 but the new one – dated December 17 – takes into account recent government announcements on the EU Settlement Scheme applicable to those EUSS applicants who are seeking to join family members in the UK.

EUSS applicants and joining family members will now be able to enter into new tenancy agreements while they await the outcome of their EUSS application. Home Office guidance remains that where a prospective tenant has a Certificate of Application confirming a valid application to the EUSS made on or after July 1 this year, agents and landlords should verify this with the Home Office Landlord Checking Service.

Who does this affect?

This affects landlords, letting agents and homeowners. There is a guide discussing specific actions to take to prevent liability for a civil penalty. This applies to residential tenancy agreements granted on property located in England.

Landlords will have a statutory excuse against any civil penalty if the initial checks were done in line with the guidance that applied at the time the check was made. Since 2015, landlords have been required to check that all prospective tenants have lawful immigration status in the UK before entering a residential tenancy in England, to avoid a fine.

What does this new rule mean?

This new rule aims to reduce the work involved and to minimise the scope for human error or criminal abuse of the system. To carry out an online Right to Rent check, landlords need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online, or they can arrange for an agent to carry out checks on their behalf if they have an existing written agreement.

Confused over the latest rules for rights to rent? At Rickman Properties, we pride ourselves on providing landlords with an efficient, yet professional letting & management service. We do all the work for you! Contact us or click here to know more about how we can help.