Home Office releases Brexit guidance on Right to Rent

Article Posted -
17 May 2019

The Home Office has confirmed that landlords and agents should continue to undertake Right to Rent checks for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens as they do now –by showing their national identity card or passport- until 1 January 2021. 

Landlords and agents are being reassured that this guidance will be applicable until 1 January 2021 irrespective of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal. It will not be necessary to establish whether new EEA or and Swiss tenants arrived before or after the UK left the EU or their status under the EU settlement scheme or European temporary leave to remain.  

The guidance also confirms that for tenancy agreements entered before 1 January 2021, there will not be a need for retrospective checks for EU, EEA or Swiss tenants or their family members. Due to the provisions of the Common Travel Area arrangement Irish citizens will be unaffected by the outcome of Brexit and can continue using their passport to prove their right to rent check. 

Landlords were also reminded about the importance of seeing Home Office issued documentation from prospective tenants who are a non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, to ensure that they can obtain a statutory excuse from a civil penalty. 

Home Office confirmed that Right to Rent guidance for checks from 1 January 2021 will be issued at a later date. 

What you can do

Given the pitfalls and penalties that can accompany the Right to Rent check process, landlords should be minded to keep up to date on developments. You can also be proactive by taking part in the user testing of a new online service for Right to Rent checks. Further details can be found here

What the NLA is doing

We are continuing to engage with the Home Office on the implementation of the Right to Rent process and making practical suggestions to support landlords. If you have any experience with Right to Rent which you would like us to share with the Home Office, please contact us at policy@landlords.org.uk.  

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