Picture of passports

The regulations for landlord right to rent checks were updated on 1 October 2022, following interim measures introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

How up to date are you with the new regulations? If you’re a landlord in Chorley, Preston or Leyland read on to find out more.


All landlords, not just agents, in England have a responsibility to prevent those without lawful immigration status from accessing the private rented sector. This is done by conducting right to rent checks on all prospective adult tenants, including British citizens, before the start date of a tenancy agreement, to make sure the applicant is not disqualified from renting a property by reason of their immigration status.

If a landlord conducts the checks as set out in the Right to Rent Code of Practice, they will have a statutory excuse against liability for a penalty in the event they are found to have rented to a person who is disqualified by reason of their immigration status. This means that if the Home Office find that a landlord has rented to someone who does not have the right to rent a property, but they have correctly conducted a right to rent check as required, they will not receive a penalty for that individual.

Covid-19 adjusted checks

We all remember how social distancing during the pandemic made our day to day processes more complicated, this made right to rent checks incredibly hard given they were to be done in person.  Fortunately, measures were introduced by the Home Office to allow adjusted checks carried out by video call supported with a scanned version of accepted documents. However this was only permitted until 30 September 2022, they were never intended to be a permanent solution.

From the 1 October 2022 any landlord conducting a manual right to rent check must now do this in person, they must physically see the identification document in order to check that is a genuine document and then verify that the applicant matches the description and details as laid out in the ID document provided.  A video call is only permitted to verify the applicant against the ID document, the landlord must be in possession of the original ID document.

What were the 6 April 2022 changes?

A new Code of Practice came into force with revised lists of acceptable documents. Some forms of ID were removed from list of documents that are acceptable to prove right to rent status. 

Landlords in England can no longer accept hard copy biometric residence permits, cards or frontier worker visas. All applicants who have an immigration status, including those EU citizens who have settled and pre-settled status, can request a share code from the Home Office which they can provide along with their date of birth. There is no cost to use this system, it accesses real-time Home Office immigration records.  When the applicant provides these, the landlord needs to check the image against the applicant.


In order to establish a statutory excuse against a penalty, right to rent checks must be undertaken within specific time limits:

  • A check on a person with an unlimited right to rent may be undertaken at any time before the residential agreement is entered into
  • A check on a person with a time-limited right to rent must be undertaken and recorded no earlier than 28 days before the start date of the tenancy agreement.

It’s simply impossible to write about all the processes and procedures relating to right to rent in a short blog, it is such complex legislation. Hopefully, this brief has alerted you to the recent changes.  This is just one of many regulations a landlord needs to be aware of and that’s before a tenancy has commenced.

If you are a landlord with a property in Preston, Leyland, Chorley or the surrounding areas and are struggling to keep on top of all the lettings regulations and legislation then give us a call on 01772 284606 to see how we can help.  We have been supporting landlords in Lancashire for 10 years.