Being a landlord during a global pandemic is no mean feat for lots of reasons, including keeping up to date on every last change made to legislation (there have been quite a few).
What is the Right to Rent scheme?
The Right to Rent scheme requires landlords to check that any tenants occupying properties that they own, are legally allowed to live in the UK. Before anyone renting a home in England, a landlord (or letting agent acting on their behalf) has to carry out checks before letting out the property.
Right to Rent during the pandemic
To reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact, landlords and letting agents were encouraged to conduct these checks on tenants’ ID documents via video and online, instead of in person. Previously, the home office guidance suggested that these documents would have to be checked in person within eight weeks of May 17th 2021, when the temporary procedures are due to lapse.
There were concerns from both landlords and agents, at the amount of work these retrospective checks would generate, potential confusion for tenants in having to repeat the process, logistical difficulties for landlords, as well as the rise in face-to-face contact with increased visits to agents’ offices before the pandemic is over.
A statement from the Home Office now says that these retrospective checks are no longer required which “reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports landlords during this difficult time”.
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