Under the current law in England, letting agents and landlords must check that all prospective tenants aged 18 and over can legally rent a residential property before starting a new tenancy. Citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland can currently prove their right to rent by showing their passport or national identity card to their letting agent or landlord.
All this is set to change from 30th June 2021, when prospective tenants from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland must first view their own right to rent record using the "prove your right to rent to a landlord or agent" or the new "View and Prove" service via the Home Office website as opposed to simply showing national identification such as a passport. They can then choose to share this information with the landlord or agent, by providing them with a "share code", which, when entered along with the individual’s date of birth, enables the landlord to access the information.
In our video below we cover the changes with Phil Noble from award-winning lettings platform Goodlord. A must watch -
EEA citizens resident in the UK who will have made an application for settled status will have been provided with digital evidence of their UK immigration status, while Irish citizens will continue to have the right to rent in the UK and be able to prove their right to rent as they do now, for example using their passport.
There also won’t be any need to retrospectively check the status of EU, EEA or Swiss tenants or their family members who entered into a tenancy agreement before 1st January 2021.
At the same time, the Home Office confirmed that nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States with biometric passports (also known as “B5JSSK nationals”), who are allowed to enter the UK using ePassport gates, will be permitted to use a combination of their passport, plus evidence of entry to the UK to demonstrate a right to rent.
There are penalties for non-compliance - such as not carrying out the initial check, and/or follow up checks to time sensitive Visas.