Categories: prs | covid

Virtual Right to Rent checks, which were due to have been scrapped at the end of August, are now permissible until April 2022.

Last-minute decision

The latest information to letting agents and landlords is that Right to Rent checks can continue to be carried out via video call, after the emergency measures were extended again.

This is designed to make it easier for the checks to be carried out, and prevent further spread of Covid-19.

The temporary allowance, that original documents do not need to be seen, has been in place since March last year.

New tenants are able to submit scanned documents, rather than send the original documents, to show they have a right to rent in the UK.

Checks can also be carried out over video calls, to confirm the document’s authenticity.

The emergency measures were initially due to end on 17 May, before the deadline changed to 20 June. It was later extended until the end of August, but will now be in place until 5 April 2022.

Some landlords are speculating if the change will remain in place permanently.

Home Office

A statement from the Home Office said:

“We have made the decision to defer the date following the positive feedback we received about the ability to conduct checks remotely. We initiated a review of the availability of specialist technology to support a system of digital Right to Rent checks in the future.

“The intention is to introduce a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including the UK and Irish citizens.

“This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.

“Deferring the end date of the adjusted checks to April 5 2022 ensures the Right to Rent Scheme continues to operate in a manner which supports landlords and letting agents, whilst we look to implement a long-term, post-pandemic solution.”

Updated advice

The official revised guide can be read by clicking here.

It details the above statement, as well as further guidance to landlords who are not sure which documents should be accepted.

With the pandemic causing significant technological advancement to the PRS, it will be interesting to see what remains when final restrictions are lifted.

From virtual viewings to video Right to Rent checks, and digital signatures, some of these changes work in the landlord’s favour when it comes to saving time and money.

Will the PRS revert to its analogue ways in the next few years? Or will the benefits and efficiencies of this new digital wave win out?