Home Secretary Priti Patel says landlords can now conduct right to rent interviews via video and that documentation can be submitted as scanned documents.
Landlords no longer have to physically inspect Right to Rent documentation or conduct checks face-to-face, it has been announced by the Home Office.
For the duration of the Coronavirus crisis, landlords checking in tenants to a property will be able to accept scanned or videoed documents instead of having to eyeball passports and other qualifying Right to Rent documentation.
Ministers say the Right to Rent scheme continues in every other way and that, if tenants cannot provide scanned documents to prove their Right to Rent in the UK, landlords should use the Landlord Checking Service as per usual.
The Home Office also says landlords must understand that it remains an offence to knowingly lease premises to a person who is not lawfully in the UK.
The government has also relaxed corresponding rules for employers checking a person’s Right to Work in the UK.
“I have introduced these temporary changes to help employers and landlords conduct checks more easily as people follow advice to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives during the coronavirus outbreak,” says Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Landlords are not being entirely relieved of their document checking duties and will have to visit tenants after the pandemic is over to recheck their documentation face-to-face.
The Home Office has issued the following guidance:
- Ask the tenant to submit a scanned copy or a photo of their original documents via email or using a mobile app.
- Arrange a video call with the tenant – ask them to hold up the original documents to the camera and check them against the digital copy of the documents.
- Record the date you made the check and mark it as “an adjusted check has been undertaken on [insert date] due to COVID-19”.