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What Landlords Should Know About Changes to EU Right to Rent Checks

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 28th June 2021
Now Britain has left the European Union, the government has announced changes to its right to rent immigration checks for EU nationals.
Changes to EU Right to Rent Checks
The changes, which come into force on 1 July, mean that landlords need to check the immigration status of tenants from the EU, not their nationality. This also applies to citizens of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. 

The EU Withdrawal Act ended the free movement of people between Britain and the EU on 1 January 2021. However, a grace period was put in place until 30 June 2021. From 1 July, citizens of these nations, who have successfully applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, can register their right to rent in the UK using the Home Office digital service.  

Once they have registered, they will receive a share code to give to their landlord or letting agent. Landlords need to enter the code on a government portal, along with the tenant's date of birth, to check they have the right to rent - rather than inspecting a physical document. 

Digital right to rent checks began in December 2020 and present a major change to the process. Landlords conducting digital checks can do so by video call. Where checks of physical documents need to take place, this must happen in person. 

According to industry body Propertymark: “This is a big step forward for the sector making checks significantly simpler. There will, however, be [EU} citizens who have another form of leave in the UK, which is held in a physical document, eg an endorsement in a passport, visa, or vignette. Those documents are included in the prescribed document lists, providing landlords with a statutory excuse against liability for a civil penalty.” 

Landlords are advised to become familiar with the process and build it into their tenant approval process from 1 July 2021. 

Read more about this story on the Propertymark website.  Get full details of right to rent checks on the gov.uk website. 

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