The Home Office is making a number of changes to the Right to Rent scheme on November 2nd.
An online service should make it easier for letting agents and landlords to check that potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK, while there are new rules coming into force for B5JSSK nationals.
Entrants to the UK will have an online page which includes their photograph and details of their rights to work and rent. Landlords and agents will then need to verify that the photograph on the web page is of the correct person and also keep a copy of that web page for 12 months after the end of the tenancy.
B5JSSK nationals (those from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA) holding a passport who also have a paper or electronic document (such as a boarding pass) showing entry into the UK within the last six months to have a right to rent. They can also get an approval via the Landlord Checking Service. This will, as normal, give them a 12 month right to rent even though they only get a six-month visa as of right.
David Smith, partner at JMW Solicitors, said: “In short, the changes are still fairly cosmetic and make things a little easier in respect of certain groups. However, there is still the obligation on landlords to behave as unpaid border control officers and to report tenants to the Home Office.
“This system is also likely to see a more radical change next year as the UK moves towards a proposed “points based immigration system” and, presumably, also moves to downgrade EEA and Swiss nationals to being of similar immigration status to other countries for which we normally allow time-limited visa free access (as opposed to unlimited visa free access) with the option to extend in certain circumstances.
“Agents and landlords will want to review the new code and will need to keep their eyes on the changing picture for the Right to Rent. There remains a lighter-touch regime in place for Right to Rent during the Covid pandemic as well which agents and landlords should be aware of.”