Right to rent - Answers to your questions
What is the right to rent scheme?
The right to rent scheme was introduced as part of a suite of measures designed to tackle and deter illegal immigration. It is intended to prevent individuals without lawful immigration status in the UK from accessing accommodation private rented sector; and to support efforts to tackle those who exploit vulnerable migrants, often housing them in very poor conditions.
What is the Home Office right to rent online checking service?
The online service is simple, secure and free to use and enables checks to be carried out by video call. Landlords do not need to check physical documents, as the individual’s right to rent information is provided in real time directly from Home Office systems.
The online service is customer led. If an individual notices an inaccuracy in their data, they can contact the Home Office for support to resolve this before sharing their details with their prospective or current landlord.
Landlords must use the View a tenant’s right to rent in England to carry out an online check. Landlords will not have a defence against liability for a civil penalty if they view or copy the details provided by the individual.
Why do landlords carry out right to rent checks?
Landlords are required to carry out simple checks, applicable to everyone, including British citizens, to ensure the individual has lawful status in the UK before they rent a property to an individual. There are penalties for landlords who fail to complete the checks and who are later found to have rented to someone without a right to be in the UK.
Are landlords required to conduct retrospective checks on BRC holders?
Retrospective checks will not be required on BRC holders who, before 6 April 2022, used their physical card to demonstrate their right to rent. However, if you choose to undertake a retrospective online check and identify that an existing tenant no longer has a right to rent, you do not need to take action to evict them. You must make a report to the Home Office using the online form, in order to maintain your statutory excuse and, where possible, encourage them to make an application to the Home Office, such as via the EU Settlement Scheme.
What is an eVisa?
Those who have successfully applied to the EU Settlement Scheme or for a UK visa (including permission to stay) using the ID Check app or by visiting a Visa Application Centre, will have created a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) account. They will use their UKVI account credentials to log into the online View and Prove service on GOV.UK, which is where they can access their online immigration information - this is called an eVisa.
What guidance is being given to landlords to avoid discrimination when carrying out a right to rent check, and what should an individual do if they feel they have been discriminated against whilst undergoing right to rent check?
The Home Office has published statutory codes of practice on GOV.UK for employers and landlords on how to avoid unlawful discrimination when undertaking checks, and clearly stipulates landlords should provide individuals with every opportunity to demonstrate their right to rent. Landlords should not discriminate on the basis of race, or any of the other protected characteristics. More information on how to avoid discrimination is available on GOV.UK.
We are clear that those who discriminate are breaking the law. Anyone who believes they have been discriminated against, either directly or indirectly, may bring a complaint before the courts before an employment tribunal.
Expert advice and support on discrimination can be found at the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) or by calling them on 0808 800 0082.
An EU, EEA or Swiss citizen has difficulties accessing the Home Office online services, where can they go for assistance?
Users who require further assistance can contact the UKVI Resolution Centre where they will be asked a series of questions.
There is also support which provides telephone and email support to all individuals using the online immigration status services. This includes supporting users through the online journey by:
- helping them to access or recover their account;
- helping them to update their personal details; and
- sharing status on their behalf if they are unable to do so themselves.
The Resolution Centre will also be able to assist users who are experiencing technical issues with their online immigration status, and where necessary, enable their status to be verified through alternative means.
If the individual needs access to a device or the internet, many local libraries have computers where they can access the internet. Please visit your local library.
Individuals can find information on how the Home Office uses and protects your personal data by reading the following privacy notices: