The Government has issued new guidance for letting agents and landlords who have been questioning how right to rent checks will be impacted by the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The Government has now clarified that there will be no changes to the current law until 1st January 2021.
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. This government has said that this will stay the same whether or not the UK leaves the EU with a deal. The guidance says that there will be no change to the way citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland prove their right to rent until 1st January 2021.
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.
Letting agents and landlords won’t need to check whether new EEA and Swiss tenants arrived before or after the UK left the EU, according to the guidance, or if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain.
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.
Letting agents and landlords should “continue to conduct right to rent checks on all prospective tenants to comply with the code of practice on illegal immigrants and private rented accommodation and the code of practice for landlords: avoiding unlawful discrimination,” according to the guidance.
The Government has plans to introduce a new, single immigration system from 1st January 2021 and new guidance on how to carry out right to rent checks from this date “will be issued in due course.”
Visit gov.uk for more information on right to rent checks. It's important to note that this article isn't exhaustive and doesn't constitute legal advice.