Right to Rent Changes from 1 October

Right to Rent Changes from 1 October

Right to Rent

Everything landlords need to know about the changes

Since October 1, there have been significant changes to the way in which landlords have had to carry out Right to Rent checks in England.

Right to Rent checks, a controversial measure first introduced in 2016, help establish the immigration status of all prospective tenants.

Landlords can carry these out themselves.  Or they can ask their letting agent to do this on their behalf. Failure to conduct these checks could result in a custodial sentence or a fine.

Before the pandemic, in-person checks were largely carried out.  However, everything changed during Covid. On October 1, the end of Covid-adjusted checks took place, as well as the expiry of the Brexit transition period, and the Home Office digitisation process.

Here, we set out everything you need to know about the changes implemented on 1 October.

What are the Landlord’s obligations with Right to Rent?

Firstly, a reminder about what Right to Rent is. All tenants must prove their right to rent in England.  Letting agents or landlords must check these before letting out their home to tenants.

To prove their right to rent, tenants must provide their date of birth and details of one of the following:

  1. biometric residence permit
  2. biometric residence card, or
  3. passport or national identity card

You can find out more here.

What are the Right to Rent changes?

Right to Rent checks have traditionally been carried out in person, but during the Covid-19 pandemic these were conducted online.

The rules have been amended now that the digital process brought in by the Home Office is complete, and Covid-adjusted checks and the Brexit transition period have ended.

You must check that a tenant can legally rent your residential property in England. Before the start of a new tenancy, you must check all tenants aged 18 and over. 

Unlimited Right to Rent

Three groups of people have an unlimited right to rent:

  1. British citizens
  2. Irish citizens
  3. those who have the right of abode in the UK, or who have been granted settlement or have settled status, including via the EUSS, or have no time limit on their permission to stay in the UK.

A landlord will not be liable for a civil penalty if they let accommodation for occupation by someone with an unlimited right to rent.

Landlords and letting agents can complete checks using the Home Office online.

The second option is through Identification Document Validation Technology (IDVT) with a UK Government-certified digital Identity Service Provider (IDSP). The Home Office provides a list of certified providers here.

Manual checks are the accepted final option. For this, the tenant must provide the original documents that prove that he/she can live in the UK.

EU citizens who do not have a settled or pre-settled status have a shorter list of IDs eligible for checks. These checks must now be processed as overseas nationals.

These are then made through the Home Office’s system that uses a digital share code through an IDSP. The nine-character share code is passed to a landlord and can be used to access the Right to Rent details.

From the date the code is issued, it is valid for 90 days and can be used multiple times within the 90 days.


To remain compliant and ensure that checks are conducted in a non-discriminatory way, landlords must follow the new Right to Rent check procedure to the letter.

Here at Callaways Estate Agents, we will do all we can to help you complete a smooth let. We operate across the South Coast, including in Falmer, Worthing and Brighton & Hove, and have the experience and knowhow of the local area to help you set the right price and attract the best kind of tenants.

For more info about what we can offer, please get in touch with us today. You can also get a free, instant online valuation of your home, to find out how much you could be charging in rent, by clicking here.