In England, since 30 March 2020, the right to rent guidance has been amended to allow for checks to be carried out in ways other than face to face.
The guidance has been further extended until 31 August 2021. From 1 September, checks will revert to pre-pandemic rules (unless extended again, as seems to be regular and common).
The following changes apply until 31 August 2021:
- checks can be carried out over video calls
- tenants can send scanned documents or a photo of documents for checks using email or a mobile app, rather than sending originals
- landlords should use the Landlord Checking Service if a prospective or existing tenant cannot provide any of the accepted documents
For the full temporary Coronavirus guidance, please see here.
The Home Office have said relating to the announcement of this extension:
We are committed to supporting landlords and tenants during this pandemic. The ending of the COVID-19 adjusted right to rent checks on 31 August 2021 is in response to the UK Government’s announcement on 14 June 2021 to extend the date for the easing of lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures. Ending the temporary adjusted checks on 31 August 2021 ensures landlords and letting agents have sufficient notice to put measures in place to enable face to face document checks.
There is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive).