Agents need more clarity and transparency about the future of Right to Rent checks post-pandemic and post-Brexit, according to the UK’s largest provider of inventory services.
No Letting Go argues that the government needs to be clearer on the future of the checks that were first introduced across England in February 2016.
Since the end of the transition phase, there has been a grace period on Right to Rent checks, due to come to an end today, June 30.
However, with the pandemic still in play, the temporary digital processes permitted for Right To Rent are still allowed until September: these allow the applicant to provide a share code and their date of birth – information that is inputted to reveal a status of unlimited or time limited status to remain.
Other EEA and Swiss citizens, however, will have different evidence of their status in the UK, typically held in a physical document such as a visa.
“The new end of August deadline will help to provide agents and landlords with some further clarity, but what will the process be after that?” says Nick Lyons, chief executive of No Letting Go.
“Will landlords and agents be able to use video checks permanently into the future, as well as in-person face-to-face ones?
“Given the new system of allowing scanned or photographed documents appears to have worked quite well, questions may be asked about why this can’t continue post-pandemic.”
Additionally there is concern over the settled status of EU-born nationals in the UK – with an estimated 30,000 applications still not processed.
Nick Lyons says on this: “From tomorrow those who have not already applied face losing essential rights they have enjoyed up to now – including the right to rental accommodation.”
Lyons adds: “With so many still in the system, waiting to be approved before the end of this month, we could have a situation from July where the status of hundreds of thousands of people is unknown or in limbo.
“This will inevitably cause problems for letting agents and landlords when it comes to confirming people’s eligibility to rent.”
The company says that agents and landlords might not like the Right to Rent process – which some suggest has turned them into de facto border guards – but non-compliance comes with heavy fines.
As such, it’s a vital part of the check-in process and something that needs to be done right.
“Landlords and agents should use a right to rent check service to ensure the necessary steps have been taken, relieving the burden of worry about non-compliance,” Lyons says.
“There is undoubtedly going to be some confusion and uncertainty as the deadline for the EU Settlement scheme and the video checks comes to an end at around the same time, but landlords who have a well-drilled check-in process can rest easier that they are doing everything in their power to follow the guidelines.”