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Delays caused by the Coronavirus pandemic have meant that planned changes to the Right to Rent rules will not now be made before the spring of next year, Home Secretary Priti Patel has told the Commons.
Responding to a question from labour MP Stephen Timms, chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, she said the improvement plan being developed in response to the Windrush scandal included six areas related to compliance requirements. One of these concerned housing, where the aim was to prevent those without lawful status from accessing the private rental sector.
‘A full evaluation of the Right to Rent scheme is already underway. The evaluation includes a call for evidence to tenants, landlords and letting agents; a large mystery shopping exercise; and surveys of landlords’, said Patel. ‘Members of the right to rent consultative panel provided input into the design of the evaluation’.
But, she said, ‘COVID 19 has impacted the field work and delivery of the final implementation report is now scheduled for spring 2021’.
In the meantime new regulations have come into effect which allow many, but not all non-UK nationals in England, to prove their Right to Rent status via a digital Home Office check.
The checking service ‘Prove your right to rent in England’ allows tenants to share details of their right to rent with landlords. Landlords or agents must view a tenant’s right to rent details before agreeing to rent to them.