The new right to rent checks are now in place after the EU settlement scheme closed on 30 June 2021.
This post discusses how this will affect landlords and what the new procedures will entail.
If an EU, EEA or Swiss national was already living within the UK, then they would be eligible under the EU settlement scheme (information on the scheme be found here) to continue living here.
If the EU settlement scheme application is successful, landlords will be able to check these tenants have the right to rent as they will have received a code that can be used on the government’s very own right to rent database found here.
Landlords can use the government website or by checking the prospective tenant’s visa documents confirming that they have been given permanent residency under the settlement scheme.
From 1 July 2021, any EU/EEA or Swiss national that enters the UK will have a right to rent for six months from when they enter the country.
If a national from an EU/EEA or Switzerland would like to have the right to rent for more than six months they will have to apply for a visa, which will be stamped onto their passport or they will be given a document if the application is successful.
For landlords, in this scenario, you can check whether an EU/EEA or Swiss national has a right to rent by checking their passport as well as their boarding pass or any evidence that they have entered the UK within the last six months.
This is enough to carry out a valid time-limited right to rent check for twelve months, after which the landlord will have to carry out another right to rent check.
The added six months is so they can confirm their visa status, after which the landlord should be able to check they have a valid right to rent online or using the traditional methods of checking the tenant’s visa.
B5JSSK refers to a list of countries that, similarly to EU/EEA & Swiss nationals, have an automatic six months right to rent when they enter the country.
These countries are the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Nationals from these countries follow the same process as above – they have six months right to rent but if they are staying for longer they must apply for a visa, which will be stamped onto their passport.
The rules governing these countries are the same as EU/EEA & Swiss nationals – residents have a six month right to rent. Landlords again, only need to recheck the tenants’ right to rent after twelve months.
If any tenant has a time-limited right to rent of six months, within twelve months of the tenancy you will need to recheck they still have a valid right to rent.
To do this, a tenant will have to produce either physical or an online verification of their right to rent.
In terms of a physical document, a visa document that gives evidence of their continued right to rent is sufficient enough. A landlord can also do a valid check by the government site online.
If the tenant does not have a valid right after you have completed the right to rent check then you must report that tenant to the home office.
If you illegally rent to a tenant who does not have a valid right to rent, then the landlord would be guilty of an offence (information can be found on the government website here).
To report a tenant, you can use the page here.
Currently, landlords do not need to check if a tenant has the right to rent in Wales. Or indeed in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
if you are reading this some time after this post was written (July 2021) you should always check the Government Information Pages rather than relying just on this post, as things sometimes change.
Further Information about ‘right to rent’ issues are linked from our Members page here.