Don’t get caught out by immigration changes, warns portal founder

Founder of StuRents, the UK's largest property portal for students, warns letting agents over huge risks of ignoring new Right to Rent rules.

tom walker right to rent sturents portal

Property managers must be careful not to get caught out in the coming days, as the Government is rowing back on leniencies offered during the pandemic.

Since 30th September, property managers will have to return to more formal Right to Rent checks after exceptions were made during the pandemic allowing them to perform these online.

Pre-pandemic, Right to Rent checks would typically be done in person, with prospective tenants arriving at their property managers’ offices, passport, biometric residence permit (BRP) or similar in hand, to prove that they are who they claim to be and are allowed to rent in the UK.

These checks were permitted – temporarily – to take place online during Covid-19, allowing us all to keep our distance and with the double benefit of making the checks quicker and easier.

As of 30th September, this option will disappear – being replaced by a more rigorous requirement to check tenants. It will be possible to check British and Irish tenants in person – albeit a more cumbersome approach – or by using the new online government-certified Identification Document Validation Technology(IDVT).

International tenants and those with BRPs or similar will no longer be allowed to have their documents checked in person, with the rules now stipulating that a Right to Rent share code must be used. This is a process that can also be facilitated via an Identity Service Provider.

Hot water

Not complying with the new legislation could land property managers in hot water with the authorities with an unlimited fine or potential prison time on the cards.

The new IDVT allows landlords and property managers to pass on the responsibility of checking a tenant’s identity to a certified provider. Residential letting agents are not trained in the art of identifying fake passports – which can be very convincing.

By adopting the new technology, they remove themselves from the risk of verifying a fraudulent document and streamline their verification process. This will set them apart from their competitors who may stick to more manual and error-prone approaches.

For tenants, the technology means they can continue enjoying a seamless, digital process of finding a home.

At StuRents we strongly believe in making compliance easy and remote, saving tenants, landlords and property managers time and effort. This is why we have partnered with TrustID, one of the Government’s certified Identity Service Providers, to offer a seamless IDVT service.

We are confident the technology will have far-reaching benefits for the private rental sector. It’s compliant with the Right to Rent legislation, provides tenants anywhere in the world with a quick and easy online verification process, and automates property managers’ admin.

As a result, property managers can speed up changeovers between tenants, reducing void periods for landlords. It will also give agents and landlords a competitive edge over others who are less open to embracing innovation in the rental market.

Read more about Right to Rent.

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