Right to rent checks have been a legal obligation since 2016, however, during Covid-19 the rules changed and were subsequently revoked in October 2022. Read our blog today to see what’s changed and how you can stay compliant.
It is evident that Brexit has been a subject that dominated the story headlines, especially in the last several months.
Landlords may have some questions in regards to Brexit affecting Right to Rent checks. The Right to Rent scheme was first introduced on 1 December 2014 in certain parts of England, and in the rest of England on 1 February 2016. Right to Rent check is a check on prospective tenants’ immigration status. It is required to be carried out before a tenancy starts or during the tenant referencing process. Landlords and letting agents may face the risk of fines if the checks were not performed correctly.
Here we take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding how Brexit affects these checks.
According to the government, there will be no changes to the right to rent for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK until 31 December 2020, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Meanwhile, there will be no changes to Irish citizens - they will continue to prove their right to rent in the UK as they currently do.
Landlords are advised to keep referring to the current Home Office guidance regarding how to check a tenant’s right to rent, where tenants will be able to prove their right to rent using:
their passport or national identity card, if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
their residence card issued by the Home Office, if they’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member
For nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States who have entered the UK through eGates as visitors, they do not require a visa and will not have UK stamps placed in their passport. However, they will have a right to remain in the UK for 6 months and are entitled to rent a property during the period. Landlords should check the government’s latest guide on conducting right to rent checks on these nationals.
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, or their families will need to apply for the EU resettlement scheme or citizenship (requires a record of 5 years’ continuous residence) if they want to continue living in the UK after 1st January 2021. According to the government’s guide, they should apply even if they were born in the UK but not British citizens, if they have an existing ‘permanent residence document’ or have a family member who is a British citizen.
Landlords have a responsibility not to discriminate against tenants based on their race, ethnicity or nationality. Landlords are also not allowed to demand EU, EEA or Swiss citizens to show their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain when entering into new tenancy agreements until 1 January 2021.
Online letting platforms like MakeUrMove are here to support landlords through these changes and new legislations. Since everything is done online, every process is quicker and more cost-effective than high street agents, see how we can help you find tenants and manage your property now.