As a landlord you must check that a tenant or lodger has the right to rent your property in England. You need to check all new tenants, even if they’re not on the tenancy agreement, if they are over 18.
It’s important to make sure that all tenants are legally allowed to live in England, so it’s critical they are done correctly, but usually these checks are done in person – so, what’s changed because of the Coronavirus outbreak?
The government had released new temporary guidance for completing the Right To Rent checks in light of Coronavirus, which came into force from 30th March 2020.
You must contact the Landlord’s Checking Service if the prospective tenants cannot provide the documents, which may be harder to get copies of due to COVID-19. Fill the form in online and they’ll get back in touch with you within 2 days. Retain that response, because you may need it to avoid any civil penalties.
The government will let you know in advance when the measures will end. After that time, you will need to undertake retrospective checks on any tenancies which commenced during this period or required a follow up check during this time. All checks should also revert back to the original way of doing them.
Retrospective checks need the following:
If, during the retrospective check following coronavirus measures being lifted, you find that the tenant(s) did not have the right to rent, you must take steps to end the tenancy immediately.
If any tenant requiring a follow-up check is found to no longer have the right to rent, you must contact the Home Office immediately.
If you are not sure on any of the guidance cited above, check out the full guidance here or get in touch via the Landlord’s Helpline on 0300 069 9799.