New UK Laws- What you need to know as a tenant or landlord
On April 6, 2022, new laws regarding renting a property came into force which are applicable to all tenants and landlords. A significant change is the end of the temporary right to rent checks, and it’s shift to an online service. This is currently only available for non-British citizens, and details are yet to follow as to when it will become accessible for all.
How has the law changed?
During the pandemic, landlords carried out identity checks on any occupant over the age of 18 via video call, or by sharing a scanned copy of their documents by email. As this is a legal requirement of Section 22 of The Immigration Act 2014. This was to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection by limiting interactions between people. It was recently announced that this may still continue until September 30, 2022. However, some checks will now be conducted on the online service, and some forms of identification will be longer be regarded sufficient. The only tenants excluded from identification checks are those that live in the following: a social housing, a care home, hospice, hospital, hostel, refuge a mobile home or a student accommodation. Noncompliance with the new laws will result in major legal implications. For instance, landlords could be subject to a fee of £1,000 if sufficient checks have been failed to be carried out.
How does the new law affect me?
Tenants who are British and Irish citizens will be verified by landlords using a certified identity service provider (IDSP). And this would be applicable to anyone holding a valid passport. However, those that don’t hold a valid passport or want to opt out getting verified by the IDSP service, will certainly not be discriminated. Landlords must find a suitable alternative method to carry out the appropriate right to rent checks.
As for tenants who are biometric residence card holders and permit holders, they will have to utilise the Home Office online service only to verify their identity. Physical cards will no longer be accepted.
‘’Online checks make it quicker, easier and more secure for employers and landlords to carry out right to rent and right to work checks and stop those looking to abuse our immigration system.”
If you are concerned on how these changes may affect you, please feel free to contact us on 0116 285 8080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.