What Brexit means for EEA citizens renting in England.
What are Right to Rent Checks?
Right to Rent checks form part of the UK Government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy. It requires landlords in England to check the immigration status of their tenants over the age of 18 and to deny lodgings to those who cannot prove they are permitted to stay in a rented home. Previously, we talked about what Right to Rent checks were and how landlords should complete them. In this article, we explain the recent changes to such checks.
Why are changes being introduced?
In a post-Brexit world, landlords were told to expect changes to Right to Rent checks for citizens of the EEA (European Economic Area). With Brexit marking an end to free movement, EEA citizens can no longer rely on their national passports to prove their Right to Rent. This article discusses these changes and outlines what documentation landlords should seek from EEA citizens once the grace period ends on the 30th June 2021.
What are the changes?
From 1st July 2021, changes will be introduced to the way in which EEA citizens prove their Right to Rent in England. These changes follow a grace period following British withdrawal from the European Union. Up to and including the 30th June 2021, EEA citizens and their family members could use their EEA passport or national identity cards as evidence of their Right to Rent property in England.
However, with the cessation of the grace period, EEA passports or national identity cards will become documents which prove no more than an individual’s nationality. Instead, EEA citizens will be required to provide evidence of their immigration status like any other foreign national.
It is anticipated that from July, the majority of EEA citizens will evidence their Right to Rent using the Home Office online checking service.
EEA citizens whose applications to the EU Settlement Scheme were successful will be provided with a share code that can be given to landlords and letting agents, along with that individual’s date of birth, to check their Home Office immigration service via Gov.UK.
If the Home Office has granted an EEA Citizen ‘Settled Status’ this is to take effect in the same way as an individual with indefinite Leave to Remain. Conversely, an individual granted ‘Pre-Settled Status’ has a time-limited right to remain and a landlord is responsible for ensuring they make follow-up checks to their tenant’s Right to Rent (the Home Office will provide you with reminders).
What are the Right to Rent changes for Irish citizens?
For Irish citizens, little will change. They will remain relevant nationals for Right to Rent checks and can continue to use their Irish passport, passport card or Irish birth or adoption certificate if it is provided with another document from List A Document Group 2 (found here).
To learn more about how to carry out Right to Rent checks, including advice on how to carry out checks during the Covid-19 pandemic, please see our ‘Guide to Right to Rent Checks in 2021’.
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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.