COVID-19 right to rent checks temporary measures extended to 5 April 2022

Due to COVID-19, landlords have been benefitting from the temporary measures to the right to rent checks by allowing the checks to be carried out virtually.

Immigration, Real Estate

These temporary measures were extended to the 31 August 2021 and recently, the UK government have announced a further extension to the 5 April 2022.

Key points:

  • Retrospective checks of tenants who were checked by landlords between 30 March 2020 and 5 April 2022 (inclusive) whilst the COVID-19 guidance was in force will not be required.
  • From 6 April 2022, the COVID-19 temporary measures will no longer be in force and landlords may once again be required to carry out face-to-face checks or use the Home Office online service.
  • The government have confirmed that new guidance will be issued ahead of 6 April 2022 to support digital right to rent checks going forward.

How to carry out a check

The ‘COVID-19 landlord right to rent checks guidance’ sets out a landlord’s responsibilities regarding virtual, rather than face-to-face checks of a prospective tenant’s right to rent.

As a reminder, the COVID-19 adjusted checks can be carried out in the following way.

  1. Ask the tenant to send a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app.
  2. Arrange a video call with the tenant – ask the individual to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents.
  3. Record the date you made the check and mark it as “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.

An online right to rent check can be carried out if a tenant has one of the following and consents to the check:

  • a current Biometric Residence Permit
  • a Biometric Residence Card
  • status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • status under the points-based immigration system

If you need a reminder of how to carry out manual or online right to rent checks, please see our overview here and the Home Office guidance below.

If you have any further questions please do get in touch with Aisha Choudhry or Ellen Hadman from our Immigration team or Amanda Gray in our Real Estate team who would be happy to assist you further.

You can find out more about how to check your tenant’s Right to Rent below:

Check your tenant’s right to rent

Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks

Right to rent immigration checks: landlords’ code of practice

Brexit and Right to Rent: What landlords need to know

Right to Rent Checks: A user guide

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of September 24, 2021.