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    28th February 2022

    End Date for Right to Rent ‘Temporary Checks’ Extended

    Advice published on the 22nd by the UK Government pertaining to right to rent checks advises that the stated end of temporary checks (previously the 5th of April) has been deferred to the 30th September 2022.

    According to the latest information, positive feedback regarding the ability to use IDTV (Identification Document Validation Technology) has led the Government to defer its planned end-point.

    While the last few months have seen little overtly positive news, there have been some concessions for UK landlords. Along with being granted a little more time to adjust to the ‘making tax digital’ legislation, this change – according to the Government, will ensure that:

    [Landlords] have sufficient time to develop commercial relationships with identity service providers, make the necessary changes to their pre-tenancy checking processes and carry out responsible on-boarding of their chosen provider.

    The decision also provides opportunity for landlords to put measures in place to enable face to face document checks if they do not wish to adopt digital checks for British and Irish citizens with a valid passport (or Irish passport card).

    This means that there is now updated advice for any landlord looking to carry out right to rent checks up to and including the 30th of September this year.

    • Checks can, until the deadline, be carried out via a video call.
    • Tenants can send scanned documents, or photographs of documents using email or mobile apps to avoid sending original documents.
    • Landlords will need to use the Home Office Landlord Checking Service if a tenant (existing or prospective) cannot provide any of the accepted documents.

    What this means for Wirral landlords

    Nothing much has changed as a result of the announcement, but it does provide landlords worried about the end of the temporary checks a chance to have things in place by October 1st. For the time being, landlords will need to ensure that they follow the required processes:

    • Tenants should be asked to submit a scanned copy or photograph of their documents.
    • A video call should be arranged with the tenant who should be asked to hole the original document up to the camera for comparison with the digital copy.
    • The date of the check should be recorded and marked ‘adjusted check undertaken on [date] due to COVID-19’.
    • If the tenant has a current BRP/BRC (Biometric Residence Permit/Card), or has been granted settled status, landlords can, once the applicant has granted their permission, use the online right to rent service.

    Note: If a tenant does not have the right documents, you should contact the Home Office Landlord Checking Service. Once you have submitted a request, you’ll receive an answer within 2 working days which must be kept to protect against a civil penalty.

    While the transition to digital is often slow and messy, new regulations and digital services are proving to be beneficial – especially to landlords with larger portfolios. For those with single properties, or new to the industry, it can seem daunting to be responsible for legally mandated checks, but provided all reasonable steps have been taken and documentation is kept safe, there should be nothing to worry about.

    If you’d rather have an expert in charge of such things, however, you can Contact Us and we’ll do what we can to take the stress out of managing your property portfolio.

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