Online Right to Rent Checks
The Right to Rent checks carried out by landlords are moving away from paper checks to an online system. The online system has been available for landlords to use during 2021 for certain citizens including biometric residence card and permit holders. From 6th April 2022 biometric residence card and permit holders will no longer be able to use these documents for a manual check and landlords must use the online checking service from this date.
Landlords can carry out an online check using the Home Office ‘View a tenant’s right to rent in England’ page on the Government website. This service can be used if the occupier has a biometric residence card or permit, has settled or pre-settled status, or has applied for a visa and used the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan their identity document on their phone. The occupier will need to view their own Home Office right to rent profile using the ‘Prove your right to rent in England’ service on the Government website. The occupier can then choose to share information with the landlord by giving them a ‘share code’ which is then entered with the occupier’s date of birth enabling the landlord to access the occupier’s information via the online service.
Landlords will also be able to use certified Identity Document Validation technology (IDVT) via an Identity Document Service Provider (IDSP) from 6th April 2022 to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport. Landlords will need to be satisfied that the photograph and personal details on the check are consistent with the occupier. In order to have a statutory excuse against liability landlords must reasonably believe that the IDSP has carried out their checks in accordance with guidance.
There are also temporary adjustments to right to rent checks until 30th September 2022 due to Covid-19. Government guidance confirms that tenants can send scanned documents or a photo of the documents by email to the landlord or agent and these can be checked over a video call.
For further information on Right to Rent Checks and online checking see Letting Factsheet 34 and Government Guidance: Digital identity certification for right to work, right to rent and criminal record checks.