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Checks for Biometric Residence Card and Permit Holders

March 2022

Extension of temporary adjusted checks

Conducting right to rent checks online without a face-to-face meeting was due to end on 05 April 2022, but has now been deferred to 30 September 2022. Following this date, right to rent checks will need to be carried out in person with prospective tenants producing ID documents to prove that they had the right to rent.

Changes to checks for biometric residence card and permit holders, and frontier worker permit holders

From 06 April 2022, landlords and letting agents (acting on the landlord’s behalf) in England cannot accept the following documents to confirm a prospective tenant’s right to rent:

  • Biometric residence permit (which was given to non-EEA family members of an EEA citizen);
  • Biometric residence card (which was given to individuals who apply to come to the UK or extend their UK visa for longer than 6 months, and to those who applied to settle in the UK); and
  • Frontier worker permit (given to EEA citizens who are resident outside the UK but are economically active (employed or self-employed) in the UK).

The prospective tenants holding the above documents must prove their right to rent online using the right to rent online checking service.

Retrospective checks do not need to be carried out on those tenants who evidenced their right to rent before 06 April 2022, using the above documents. However, if a landlord or agent (acting on behalf of the landlord) does carry out a retrospective check and the tenant no longer has a right to rent, the landlord or agent must report this to the Home Office.

Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT)

From 06 April 2022, landlords will be able to use certified Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) service providers to carry out digital checks on behalf of British and Irish citizens who hold a valid passport (or Irish passport card).

Anti-discrimination

Landlords and letting agents are being reminded not to discriminate when carrying out right to rent checks. A new code of practice has been issued by the government which provides practical guidance on what should or should not be done to avoid unlawful discrimination when carrying out right to rent checks from 06 April 2022.

Landlords and agents (acting on the landlord’s behalf) in England are required to carry out “right to rent” checks on prospective new tenants to ensure they have the right to be in the UK. Landlords can face an unlimited fine or imprisonment for a period of five years if they do not carry out these checks correctly and allow properties to be occupied by people who are disqualified from renting.

As the changes do not come into force until 06 April 2022, the updated template Right to Rent Checklist for Residential Landlord and template Right to Rent Checklist for Lettings Agency will be available once these changes are in force.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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