Good News in a Government Announcement

Letting agents and landlords don’t often find things to make them smile in Government announcements, but the latest update on the Right to Rent process will be very welcome. Since COVID-19 arrived, face-to-face Right to Rent checks have not been a requirement. We’ve got by with technology, video calls and scanned documents. Unsurprisingly, the world has kept turning.

The Government has been threatening an end to this workable solution, but they’ve pushed back the deadline more than once. The new announcement gives the industry some welcome breathing space: the new deadline for a change is 5th April 2022. That’s easy to remember as it’s also the last day of the current tax year.

Digital checking works

Why are the Government being so helpful? We believe that it’s partly because we’ve shown that digital checking is effective. Note that the Government aren’t saying that things will revert to pre-COVID rules on 6th April next year, rather that fresh guidance will be issued. Indeed, the Government announcement includes a statement about its new online, digital checking system. It will, apparently, combine ease of use with high security.

When Right to Rent checks were introduced, we were told that nothing less than eye-balling original documents was good enough. But we’ve proved we can still ensure tenants have a right to rent using simple, readily available technology we have to hand in our phones and laptops.

While we’d probably still prefer not to be acting as unpaid immigration officers, we’re happy not to be facing an immediate return to the hassle and expense of the face-to-face check. With video ID checks, we can get on with our jobs and potential tenants can get on with their lives. And with the Government’s new digital solution, let’s hope we’ll be even happier.

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