Right To Rent Amendment: What Landlords Need To Know
The government has issued new Right to Rent guidelines for buy-to-let landlords, which will take effect from 6 April 2022.
If you rent out a property in England, either you or your agent – if you have one – is legally required to ensure that your tenants are allowed to rent. Failure to do this could lead to prosecution, and even a prison sentence.While a person’s right to rent often relies on their immigration status, there is also a code of practice for landlords to follow to ensure they do not unlawfully discriminate against prospective tenants.
These checks have been made slightly more complicated since Brexit, as well as the onset of Covid. You can read more about the emergency measures that have been in place here. But it is crucial that landlords familiarise themselves with the latest guidance to ensure they are up to speed.
There has been a recent important change the Home Office have introduced to the View and Prove share codes. This will affect share codes provided by tenants for the purposes of a digital right to rent check.
Individuals using View and Prove must select one of three options for sharing their immigration status:
- To prove their right to rent in England
- To prove their right to work in the UK
- For another reason
Each share code can only be used for the purpose it was originally selected for. For example, a share code generated to prove an individual's right to rent in England can only be used in the 'View a tenant's right to rent in England' online service. If the same code is entered into the 'View a job applicant's right to work details' service, the share code will not work.
What are the changes?
We have listened to feedback from stakeholders and all share codes now begin with a letter denoting the purpose it can be used for:
'R' - this will indicate that the share code has been generated by an individual to evidence their right to rent.
'W' - this will indicate that the share code has been generated by an individual to evidence their right to work.
'S' - this will indicate that a share code has been generated for another reason other than rent or work.
This will enable landlords, letting agents and tenants to be confident that the correct share code has been generated, and avoid confusion when using the services.
Share codes will continue to work in the same way. They will always be 9 characters long. On receipt of the share code, landlords and letting agents should continue to use the 'View a tenant's right to rent in England' online service.
Furthermore, we have extended the validity period of share codes from 30 to 90 days. This means that, from 17 February 2022, any new share code generated via any part of the Home Office online service can be used for 90 days.
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