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Post-Brexit Right to Rent guidance issued

Thursday 16 May 2019

New guidance on Right to Rent checks for EU citizens after Britain leaves the European Union has been published by the UK government.

What are Right to Rent checks?

Right to Rent checks require landlords or agents to check ID to determine the immigration status of all prospective adult tenants before the start of a tenancy, securely retaining a copy of the identity documents throughout and for 12 months beyond the end of the tenancy.

Right to Rent checks started as a pilot scheme in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 before rolling out across England on 1 February 2016. The rules do not currently apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The new advice

Until 1 January 2021 EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will continue to be able to prove their Right to Rent in England as they do now by showing a passport or permitted identity documents either on their own or in combination.

The Government has made a firm commitment that this situation will remain the same regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.

As a letting agent you will not be required to check whether tenants who are EU nationals arrived before or after the UK left the EU, or if they have status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain. You will not need to retrospectively check the status of EU, EEA or Swiss tenants or their family members who entered into a tenancy agreement before 1 January 2021. Irish citizens will continue to have the right to rent in the UK and prove their right to rent as they do now, for example using their passport.

Right to Rent checks remain in place on all prospective tenants to comply with the appropriate codes of practice. There are currently no plans to roll the scheme out to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

 Right to Rent advice

‘Windrush’ - Undocumented Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK 

In April 2019, the Government issued new guidance to landlords wishing to rent to Commonwealth citizens (known as members of the Windrush generation) who have been in the country for decades but found themselves unable to evidence their legal right to remain in the UK.

Propertymark resources

ARLA Propertymark continues to work as part of the Home Office’s Landlord Consultation Panel to try to ensure that certainty for tenants, landlords and agents is achieved as soon as possible in the run-up to the UK’s EU departure.

More information on the Immigration Act and Right to Rent checks, including what Propertymark are doing can be found on our Lobbying page.