The Home Office has updated the landlord’s guidance for conducting right to rent checks ready for 1 July 2021.
This includes changes from 1 July 2021 as the Brexit transition is to end on 30 June 2021.
The main question we’re being asked on this subject at the moment is: do landlords have to conduct further checks on their exiting EEA tenants who are already on a tenancy after 30 June?
The answer is no:
There is no requirement for a retrospective check to be undertaken on EEA citizens who entered into a tenancy agreement up to and including 30 June 2021. You will maintain a continuous statutory excuse against any civil penalty if the initial checks were undertaken in line with the guidance that applied at the time you made the check.
However, checks conducted on new prospective tenants from 1 July 2021 do have different documents being acceptable.
The essence of checking is the same so under temporary COVID-19 provisions, distance checking is acceptable and otherwise, by obtaining and copying the original document(s).
A primary change is that EEA and Swiss citizens will require a document showing they have indefinite leave to remain in the UK to maintain a continuous statutory excuse (i.e., no further checks required). The document must be current and not expired unless it is a biometric immigration document which can be expired (as long as it says they can stay indefinitely or, has no time limit).
If the document shows a time-limited period, then further checks will be required as before 1 July. The further checks must be conducted within 12 months from last check or expiry of the document — whichever is greater.
For a full detailed list of acceptable documents, please see pages 43 – 47 of the guidance
As an alternative, landlords can use the Home Office online service where the prospective tenant visits the website first and obtains a “share code” which can be provided to the landlord to do the checks. However, a landlord cannot insist that a prospective tenant uses this service. If they don’t want to, the checks will have to be done the usual way by viewing and copying documents.
The updated guidance also includes information about:
- Biometric Residence Permits
- Windrush generation
- Students (including overseas)
- Temporary Covid-19 checking
The landlords code of practice is currently showing as being in draft, but will presumably be ready for 1 July 2021.