Virtual Right To Rent checks by agents, which were to have been illegal from just next week, are now permissible until April 5 2022.
The last-minute U-turn is just the latest about-face from the Home Office, which originally wanted the virtual checks to be abandoned in May this year, then in June, and most recently on August 31 - now they have been reprieved until next spring, having been introduced as Covid-safe alternatives to face-to-face meetings.
Until April 5 2022 agents and landlords can perform online video identity checks and accept digital/scanned copies of Right to Rent documentation.
A statement from the Home Office says: “We have made the decision to defer the date following the positive feedback we received about the ability to conduct checks remotely. We initiated a review of the availability of specialist technology to support a system of digital Right to Rent checks in the future.
“The intention is to introduce a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens.
“This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.
“Deferring the end date of the adjusted checks to April 5 2022 ensures the Right to Rent Scheme continues to operate in a manner which supports landlords and letting agents, whilst we look to implement a long-term, post-pandemic solution.”
Here's the official revised guidance.