Industry News NRLA Advice Line 14/10/2022

Call of the month: End of Covid-adjusted Right to Rent checks

This month we were able to advise one of our members about the end of the Covid-adjusted right-to-rent check. 

Our member had signed a tenant up using a Covid-adjusted check at the start of September. They wanted to make sure this was still legally compliant, as they had heard something about the checks coming to an end.

What changes were introduced?

Covid-adjusted right-to-rent checks were introduced during the pandemic to allow landlords and agents to conduct checks remotely.

The tenant would send a copy or photo of the document required for the check to the landlord, who would then video call them to view it 'live' on the call.

After 30th September, landlords will no longer be able to carry out checks in this way, and instead must use previous methods of checking right to rent. This could be:

  • an in-person check, with the tenant showing you the original versions of relevant documents from List A or B
  • via the Home Office checking service, using a share code and date of birth provided by the tenant
  • directly from the Home Office - if they are in possession of the tenants' documents

Identity Document Verification Technology (IDVT)

Our adviser also explained to the caller that there is another option, with landlords or agents who wish to continue to carry out right to rent checks remotely able to make use of Identity Document Verification Technology (IDVT).

To do this landlords need to contact an approved identity service provider (IDSP)  -  a third party who can use this type of technology to check documentation from the tenant to ensure they have right to rent. This must be a certified provider recognised by the Government - with a full list available here. Landlords should retain copies of the IDVT evidence throughout the tenancy and for one year after the tenant leaves. 

The adviser confirmed to our member that there was no issue with the check they had already carried out, but going forwards they should revert to one of the other methods of performing the check, for new tenancies or in instances where a tenant had a time-limited right to rent that expired and the landlord must check again to see new evidence.

More information is available in the NRLA's Right to Rent guidance for landlords.

The NRLA Landlord Support team regularly handle over 2,500 calls per week from our members on a wide variety of topics.

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