Since March, a temporary system has been in place which has allowed agents and landlords to carry out Right to Rent checks remotely. However, the Home Office has stated that within eight weeks of the temporary measures being lifted, agents and landlords will need to carry out full in-person retrospective checks on tenants who started their tenancy during the pandemic.
ARLA Propertymark has warned the Home Office that the sheer scale of work required to complete retrospective checks within the eight-week timeframe will be impossible.
According to No Letting Go, independent inventory clerks can help letting agents and landlords carry out retrospective Right to Rent checks when completing an inventory check-in.
Nick Lyons, Founder and CEO of No Letting Go, says: "We fully support ARLA Propertymark's view. However, if retrospective checks are required as currently proposed, our inventory clerks can help landlords and agents to handle the additional work.
"Our clerks have experience of carrying out Right to Rent checks as many of them conducted them on behalf of agents and landlords when compiling inventory check-ins during the spring lockdown."
No Letting Go says its clerks can carry out immigration checks provided they have the name of each tenant who needs to be checked, as well as the type of ID which needs to be inspected. The inventory clerk is then able to ensure the ID matches with the landlord or agent's records and subsequently take photographic evidence of the ID and the renter.
Lyons says: "Providing this service during routine property visits allows us to help agents and landlords stay on top of their compliance obligations.
"Going forward, renters may be reluctant to go back to agents' offices, so it makes sense to complete Right to Rent checks in-person when conducting a property visit."
He adds that No Letting Go stores records of the completed checks on its systems, so agents and landlords have a back-up of all checks and can provide an audit trail where necessary.
How can inventory clerks carry out Right to Rent checks?
The inventory clerk will carry out the property visit as normal, checking the ID of all tenants aged 18 or over. They will take a note of all the people living at the property, whether or not they are listed on the tenancy agreement, and ascertain who needs to be verified.
The clerk will then ask each renter if they can take a photograph of them to ensure they show a true likeness to the ID they have provided. All photographs and documentation is added to the relevant Right to Rent form and uploaded into the No Letting Go back-office system.
Lyons concludes: "There are a range of changes to the Right to Rent scheme in the pipeline which, alongside the introduction of retrospective checks, could put significant pressure on letting agents and landlords over the coming months.
"Property professionals will also be managing the overall impact of the pandemic and continually growing workloads, so any help they can get from partners such as inventory clerks to ensure they meet their compliance obligations could be invaluable."