Landlords and letting agents in England are being warned about changes to the right to rent checks, which must be carried out for new tenants.
The changes, which came into force on 1 October, follow the end of Covid-19 adjustments, which allowed video checks to take place, as well as the expiry of the Brexit transition period and the digitisation of Home Office processes.
Face-to-face checks have now resumed for British and Irish citizens, replacing the video calls which were allowed from the start of the pandemic.
Landlords and agents may complete the checks digitally, but must sign up to a government-certified and paid-for digital identity service provider.
Landlords must carry out checks on overseas nationals via the Home Office’s real-time system using a digital share code and EU citizens, without settled or pre-settled status, must now be processed as overseas nationals.
Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at industry body Propertymark, said: “A combination of factors mean it isn't a straight return from video checks to in-person checks. There are different requirements depending on the status of the prospective tenant."
Douglas warned that while the new system of identity service providers could reduce the work and risks for landlords, it comes with additional costs which can’t be passed on to tenants because of the tenant fees legislation.
Landlords in England could face a five-year prison sentence or an unlimited fine for renting property to someone who they have ‘reasonable cause to believe’ does not have the right to rent in the UK.
Read more about this story on the Landlord Today website.