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WARNING: New Right to Rent regulations and procedures go live

New list of approved documents, procedures and ways of checking a person's identity digitally all start right now.

Nigel Lewis

Right to Rent image

Right to Rent checks for all tenants taking up new tenancies are changing significantly today, letting agents are being warned.

Following several false starts as Covid has dragged on, the government has today ushered in a new Home Office Code of Practice changing how agents in England must carry out the controversial checks.

Following the introduction of the new Code, agents must familiarise themselves with revised lists of accepted documents.

And under the new rules, hard copies of biometric cards and permits along with frontier workers permits (seasonal workers) will not be accepted from today onwards.

Agents also have just six months to get their IT systems integrated with the new digitised system for completing the checks required by the government.

Digital identity

This is being achieved through the introduction of certified digital identity service providers (IDSPs) which will run digital identity checks for British and Irish Citizens as part of the Home Office’s introduction of identity document validation technology (IDVT) framework.

This system will run in parallel with the temporary ‘adjusted checks’ regime brought in during Covid that enables checks to be done via video calls until the end of September.

The best-known of these IDSPs is a partnership between Yoti and the Post Office.

Yoti’s system enables Right to Rent checks to be completed digitally, with the Post Office offering its own branded version as well a document certifying service via its branches.

Following the end of ‘adjusted checks’, digital checks on UK and Irish nationals will only be permitted through identity service providers who will provide this in exchange for a fee.

Hard copy

Agents can continue to use specified hard copy documents for UK and Irish nationals or BJ5SSK nationals (nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the USA) but if IDSP is offered, agents “must not discriminate against applicants that would prefer to provide hard copy documents checked either online to 30 September 2022, or in-person”, says Propertymark.

From 30 September, these checks must be carried out in person with records kept.

“There is no identity card system for British citizens therefore the system is likely to continue to include acceptance of hard copy documents for British and Irish citizens,” adds Propertymark.

April 6, 2022

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