While the London rental market is booming thanks to the imminent relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and the subsequent return of overseas tenants and students, there is one major change to rental rules that landlords must be aware of.
Following Britain’s departure from the EU, Right to Rent requirements for EEA (European Economic Area) citizens including EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, changed as of the 1st July 2021. Now, any EEA citizen who is already living in the UK must obtain immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme, giving them either ‘settled status’ which allows them to have a permanent right to rent, or ‘pre-settled status’ which allows them a limited time to rent.
So, as a landlord, what do you need to be aware of?
You need to verify an EEA tenant’s new status before letting a property, otherwise you will be at risk of an unlimited fine, or possibly even a prison sentence.
You also need to be aware of the following changes to the documents that you can now accept when undertaking a right to rent check for new tenancies:
- EEA citizens can no longer rely on a national ID card or EEA passport when it comes to proving their right to rent (with the exception of Irish citizens).
- Instead, they will need to use the Home Office online service. For prospective tenants who already have digital immigration status via an E-visa, they can prove their right to rent in England on the Home Office portal, available via the Government website.
- An EEA citizen who has been granted ‘settled or pre-settled status’ will get a confirmation of this by a letter. However, this letter must not be accepted by you as a landlord as a right to rent. The tenant must use this letter along with their date of birth and a ‘share code’ obtained via https://www.gov.uk/prove-right-to-rent and follow the steps.
- If your prospective tenant’s application is in the process of being checked, you can double check their right to rent status with the landlord checking service which can be found on the Government website.
- Some EEA citizens who possess a biometric passport and who have entered the UK via e-gates in the past six months can use their passport plus proof of travel to the UK as evidence for a limited period of right to rent.
For the most accurate and up-to-date advice on current landlord regulations, always check the UK Government’s website.
For more information or to discuss our services, contact London Building Surveyors today.