The Home Office has moved to reassure landlords and renters that possible teething problems with its new Right to Rent online checking service won’t hold up new tenancies.
In response to a written question from Labour MP Neil Coyle about redress for delays caused by system errors, Home Office minister Chris Philp (pictured) said if there were problems, non-EEA nationals could choose to use their biometric residence card or permit to evidence their right to rent.
Also, EEA citizens could rely on their passport or national ID card until 30th June, he claimed.
Philp explained: “If there are errors or technical issues with the information displayed, individuals are advised to contact our support centre to ask for the issue to be investigated before they share the information with a landlord.”
He added: “If a landlord is unable to establish that an individual has the right to rent, they are able to make a request to the Landlord Checking Service.”
The new online service, which went live on Wednesday involves a prospective tenant giving permission to the landlord to view their Home Office immigration record by providing a ‘share code’.
Philp said this information is taken from the Home Office immigration database, ensuring that information stays in step with their immigration status.
But the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants believes the service does absolutely nothing to protect prospective tenants from the discrimination caused by Right to Rent.
Legal policy director Chai Patel tells LandlordZONE: “The fact that the Government have refused to scrap Right to Rent even in the face of Covid 19 when people without access to decent housing faced elevated risk of contracting the disease shows how little they value black and brown lives.”