The government has announced that letting agents and landlords are not required to conduct retrospective Right to Rent verification of tenants who had a Covid-adjusted check since 30 March 2020.

During the pandemic, tenants’ ID documents could be checked via video and online, instead of in person.

Original Home Office guidance suggested the ID documents would have to be checked again in person after the pandemic. The deadline for the retrospective checks was within eight weeks of the ending of the temporary relaxation in compliance on 17 May 2021.

Now, a statement from the Home Office states the retrospective checks are not required as this “reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports landlords during this difficult time.”

From 17 May 2021, checks of prescribed documents must be completed as set out in the Right to Rent code of practice and the landlord’s guide, published on the government’s website.

Under the reinstated code of practice, when completing a document check you must be in possession of the original documents. Landlords and agents can no longer accept a scanned copy or a photo of original documents, as this will not provide a defence against a civil penalty.