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Landlords in Gloucestershire: Get ready for Right to Rent changes

The 6th of April is fast approaching, and new laws are set to be introduced on that date that will affect landlords in Gloucestershire.

If you rent out your property in Gloucestershire, you need to get ready for the new Right to Rent changes in order to avoid being fined. So, read on, and learn everything you need to know about this new legislation.

The New Laws

When the new tax year begins on the 6th April 2022, new laws are going to be introduced. This new legislation will require all landlords in Gloucestershire to determine all prospective adult renters’ immigration statuses before leasing them the property using a newly digitised government system.

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, temporary adjustments had been put in place to this checking system. On the 5th April 2022, these adjustments will end, and checks will no longer be able to be carried out via a video call. Non-compliance penalties are steep, ranging from £1000 for a first offence right up to an unlimited fine and even a jail sentence.

Landlords and letting agents can visit the Gov.UK website to use its Right To Rent Online Checking Service to view any prospective or existing tenants’ statuses. No physical documents will need to be checked.

As of the 6th April 2022, lettings agents and landlords must use this online Right To Rent Checking Service for holders of Biometric Residence Cards and Permits.

Which Checks Must Be Carried Out?

After the 6th April 2022, landlords and lettings agents in Gloucestershire will no longer be permitted to accept somebody’s Biometric Residence Permit or Card to carry out a manual check for Right To Rent. However, no retrospective checks are required for cardholders who have used their physical document previously to prove that they have a Right to Rent.

Nevertheless, if letting agents and landlords do decide to carry out an online check retrospectively on a tenant and discover that one of their existing tenants no longer have the Right to Rent, a report must be made using an online form to the Home Office in order to maintain their statutory excuse against prosecution.

From this date, too, letting agents and landlords in Gloucestershire will be permitted to use providers of certified ID document validation technology services to execute a digital check on Irish or British citizens holding a valid British passport or an Irish passport card.

The reason for this change lies in the government’s aim to move away from their current system which is heavily reliant on tenants proving that they have a Rent to Rent by providing physical documentation, and to move towards a system that is more streamlined and digital.

With only three months left to go until the changes become law, agents and landlords must ensure that they are up-to-date with the requirements, and make certain that they have a clear understanding of the impact on them and their tenancies as they go forward into the next tax year.

Belvoir Gloucester are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area.

If you are a landlord in Gloucestershire, call us on 01452 387 334 or email gloucester@belvoir.co.uk for advice.