Advice for landlords carrying out right to rent checks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The latest government advice for letting agents and landlords carrying out Right to Rent checks during the coronavirus pandemic confirms that letting agents can continue carrying out Right to Rent checks by video call until April next year, after the emergency measures were extended yet again.

The temporary changes to Right to Rent checks, adapted due to coronavirus, are designed to make it easier for letting agents and landlords to carry them out.

The short-term changes to the scheme, which requires landlords to check that all tenants who occupy their properties have legal status to live in the UK, have meant that since last year, the Home Office has not required landlords to see original documents. Instead, it currently allows checks to be undertaken over video calls.

These temporary changes, which have been in place since March last year, mean that during the coronavirus outbreak prospective renters are now able to submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have a right to rent or right to work.

In addition, there are also new rules being introduced when checking the immigration status of tenants who are EU nationals.

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.

The Home Office states: “The end date for the temporary adjusted checks has now been deferred to 5 April 2022 (inclusive). 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 work 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 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 5 April 2022 ensures the Right to Work Scheme continues to operate in a manner which supports employers, whilst we look to implement a long-term, post-pandemic solution.”

To help letting agents and landlords better understand what is required of them when it comes to Right to Rent : 

Written by Jinay


Refundable Holding deposit - Capped at 1 weeks rent

Security Deposit - Capped at 5 weeks rent for annual rental under £50,000, or 6 weeks rent for annual rental over £50,000

Rent - The agreed monthly rent

Changes to tenancy - Capped at £50 inc VAT

Early termination charge - Not exceeding the landlord’s financial losses

Late payment of rent - Interest of 3% above BoE base rate for each day the rent is late, once it is 14 days overdue

Replacement keys - Reasonable costs or give the tenant the option to purchase themselves

Utilities, council tax, communication services, TV Licence etc - Tenants own responsibility unless otherwise stated in contract

Client Money Protection Scheme Membership details - SafeAgent Membership :A2134

Property Redress Scheme Membership details - The Property Ombudsman, Membership Number : L00086