Right to Rent Fines Increase and New Code of Practice in Effect

A house with a calculator with a graph in the background

As of January 22, 2024, significant changes have been introduced to Right to Rent fines, marking a crucial development for landlords and letting agents in England. This adjustment coincides with the enforcement of the updated code of practice on right to rent: Right to Rent Scheme for landlords and their agents, which outlines prescribed checks to be conducted by landlords and their agents to avoid civil penalties in cases of unlawful renting.

Key Points to Note

Increased Penalties

Landlords and letting agents now face escalated penalties for renting to unauthorised tenants. The fines for a first breach have surged to £5,000 per lodger and £10,000 per occupier, a substantial increase from the previous £80 per lodger and £1,000 per occupier. Repeat breaches could incur penalties of up to £10,000 per lodger and a maximum of £20,000 per occupier.

Code of Practice Updates

The revised code of practice on the right to rent provides explicit guidelines on how to establish a statutory excuse for Right to Rent checks. Landlords must conduct one of the following checks before commencing a tenancy: 

1. A manual Right to Rent check (all citizens);

2. A Right to Rent check using Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT) via the services of an Identity Service Provider (IDSP) (British and Irish citizens only);

3. A Home Office online Right to Rent check (non-British and non-Irish Citizens).

Digital Identity Verification Technology (IDVT)

With the competitive rental property market, landlords and letting agents must ensure that compliance checks are not only swift but also aligned with the latest regulations. Adopting certified digital identity verification technology with an accredited Identity Service Provider (IDSP) is a recommended approach. This guarantees that checks are conducted to the highest standard and remain in compliance with the latest Right to Rent regulations.

How can Amiqus Help?

As a UK government-certified identity provider for Right to Rent, Amiqus enables landlords and agents to conduct digital checks on their clients remotely and easily, without the need for in-person meetings. Amiqus can also assist with other checks and processes required for vetting tenants, including credit checks, references, sources of funds, etc.

In addition to the checks, there are some specialist Amiqus features that letting agents may find useful, such as:

Custom Forms: These forms allow for gathering tenant information securely through an encrypted platform, eliminating the risks associated with email communication.

Secure Document Transfer: The embedded document transfer functionality enables easy sending and receiving of documents to/from tenants. This process can be repeated multiple times at no extra cost, with automatic virus scanning ensuring safety.

Simple Integration: Amiqus serves as a secure, efficient stand-alone system OR can be seamlessly integrated with your existing tools and databases.

Audit Trail: Maintaining an audit trail is crucial, especially when firms still process paper forms and hard copies of personal documents. Amiqus securely holds all documentation and data in one place.

In this dynamic regulatory landscape, landlords and letting agents are urged to stay informed and adopt efficient digital solutions to navigate compliance swiftly and mitigate the risk of hefty fines and reputational damage. For more information on how to adapt to these changes and manage remote and digital Right to Rent checks, as well as other screening checks for tenants, get in touch with Amiqus today.

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