The legislation required to expand the Right to Rent scheme to EU citizens has been laid before parliament.
Home Office minister Chris Philip has announced that the Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) (Amendment) Order 2020 is now to undergo scrutiny by MPs before becoming law.
“We have worked closely with landlord and letting agents in designing the service, but we need to change right to rent legislation to enable them to rely on the new online service to discharge their legal responsibilities under the scheme,” says Philips.
The legislation, which has caused controversy since details were revealed earlier this year, enables both non-EU and EU citizens granted status to live and work in the UK to go online and view their Home Office profile.
They can then share this with a landlord if they wish by providing them with a ‘share code’ which can be used to access the prospective tenant’s record.
“This authorisation represents an important safeguard and means landlords will only be able to view an individual’s right to rent information, and no other unrelated personal information,” says Philip.
“Landlords will be able to undertake either the online check or the existing document-based check; online checks will, therefore, be a voluntary option whilst migrants and landlords develop familiarity with the new service and take-up becomes more widespread.
“EEA citizens will continue to be able to demonstrate their entitlement to rent to landlords by showing a valid passport or national ID card until 30 June 2021.”
The Immigration (Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) (Amendment) Order 2020 also makes other changes to list of prescribed documents prospective tenants can use to prove their right to rent.
It amends the document list for non-visa national visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA who enter the UK using an ePassport gate.
The legislation also enables documents issued to third-country-national family members granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme to be accepted by landlords and letting agents as evidence of a right to rent.
Also, it amends the list of documents that are acceptable under the existing manual Right to Rent check to include a short UK birth and adoption certificate as well as the long versions of these documents; making it easier for British citizens who do not hold a passport to demonstrate their right to rent.