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Major Right to Rent Changes – what you need to know

These changes are significantly different to how checks are currently being carried out, so it’s important to know about these changes – especially if you are a self-managing landlord. Three months might feel like a long time, but time flies when you’re a landlord!

Starting from the 6th April 2022, both landlords and letting agents will need to use the government’s new system, the Right to Rent Online Checking Service, in order to determine the immigration status of all adults who are looking to rent a property. The new digitised system is for biometric residence card/ permit holders, and from the 6th of April, it will no longer be possible to use these to carry out manual Right to Rent checks.

Not complying with this new law, means you could receive a minimum fine of £1000 for a first offence, however, there is no upper limit for fines and really serious cases could also incur prison time.

What about checks carried out using physical documents?

You don’t need to retrospectively check any applications from tenants who used physical documents.

Having said this, if for some reason a landlord or agent did carry out a retrospective check and discovered that their tenant no longer has the legal right to rent in the UK, this discovery has to be reported to the Home Office via their online form, to maintain a statutory excuse against prosecution.

What landlords need to know about the Levelling Up Whitepaper

What is the Levelling Up Whitepaper?

The Levelling Up Whitepaper has been set out by the government, detailing 12 “levelling up missions” to improve the quality of life across the UK, especially in areas that have traditionally been lacking in investment.

As part of the whitepaper, there is a significant focus on the property industry and in particular the private rented sector (PRS).
In the plan, the government have given their intention to reduce the number of rental homes that could be considered ‘non-decent’ by 50%, by the year 2030.

There are multiple ways they’re looking to do this, and the whitepaper goes into detail for some while others are awaiting the publication of their own whitepapers for clarification.

  • Creating a decent homes standard for rental properties
  • Building more social housing, as part of a wider drive to build more affordable homes generally
  • Exploring the creation of a national register for landlords
  • Abolishing Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions

Abolishing Section 21 is part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, which is another whitepaper due to be published this spring.

If you would like to read all of the government plans laid out in the Levelling Up Whitepaper, you can read them here.