The Government has announced the lifting of one of its remaining Covid-19 measures. From 1 October 2022 landlords carrying out right-to-rent checks and employers carrying out right-to-work checks must go back to face-to-face document checks where digital alternatives are not in place.
The adjustments to these checks, introduced on 30 March 2020, enabled both landlords and employers to avoid face-to-face contact when Covid-19 levels were at their highest and still check the identities of would-be renters or new staff. Since that time the Government has been pushing for the use of Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) to speed up this checking process. The initial date for re-introducing face-to-face checks was deferred to give landlords and employers more time to source providers of IDVT, engage their services and bed in these checks as part of their identification practices.
Checks required from 1 October 2022:
- Manual right to rent or right to work check i.e., physical, original documents must be presented
- Right to rent or right to work check using IDVT through an identity service provider (IDSP)*
- A home office online right to rent or right to work check
Conducting any of these checks will provide landlords and employers with a statutory excuse which is a defence against a civil penalty. And it will come as a great relief to landlords and employers alike that no retrospective checks are required for those tenants and employees who were checked under the Covid-19 adjusted system.
*Important to note that these checks are only available for British and Irish citizens who hold valid passports.
Emma Hardman, partner in our housing management team, reminds landlords:
“These right to rent checks apply in England only at the moment. Private registered providers must do these checks where allocating housing to people unless the local authority has made a nomination discharging its duties under the Housing Act 1996”.
Anna Dabek, partner in our employment and pensions teams, notes:
“These checks must be carried out by employers throughout the UK and should be completed prior to an employee starting work. Please do contact email@example.com if you need further clarification or guidance on these identification checks or want further information on using IDSPs.
The adjustments to right to work/ right to rent checks introduced on 30 March 2020 as part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19), will end on 30 September 2022.