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Would you like Right to Rent checks to be easier?

Monday 21 January 2019

The Home Office is developing a new online service to make completing right to rent checks quicker and easier, but they need your help to make the service work and bring it to life.

In the current phase of development the service will apply to landlords or agents checking non-EEA nationals who hold biometric residence permits or biometric residence cards plus those granted status under the EU settlement scheme.

The Home Office are keen to ensure that their new service meets the needs of landlords and agents, so they would like to talk to you to understand your experience of conducting checks.

Right to Rent checks were first introduced in 2016 for England, but have faced much criticism and have even been challenged recently in the High Court by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). JCWI say that as well as being discriminatory to tenants, it is not reasonable to expect landlords to also work as border guards. This is an argument also raised by ARLA Propertymark and many agents. We have also argued that it can be very time consuming for agents to conduct these checks and that this has an impact on their profits margins, of even greater concern now that the Tenant Fees Bill is due to be introduced this year. 

Taking part in this research provides a great opportunity to address some of these issues and help shape and improve services.

Who can take part?
The Home Office would like to talk to private landlords and agents who have experience of checking tenants with a:

• biometric residence card (BRC)
• biometric residence permit (BRP)

They are also particularly keen to understand your experience of doing checks if you find it difficult to navigate online systems.

The Home Office will be looking to do research with other groups, so if you know anyone else who would be keen to participate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact details are given below. 

What does the research involve?
The research will involve a run-through of a prototype of the new online service and you will be asked to give feedback on the service to assess its usability. You don't even have to travel to take part - the development team can come to you to conduct the research, unless it’s easier for you to go to their offices.

How to get involved?
Please email rtr.research@digital.homeoffice.gov.uk or call Ella Botting on 07776808144. Their research is confidential and will only be used to improve their service, never for anything else.

For more information about Right to Rent checks, please download our Fact Sheet, exclusively for ARLA Propertymark members.