Under the right to rent rules, landlords are required to check, when they are with the tenant, that they have original documents that prove they can live in the UK. They must be satisfied they are genuine and belong to the tenant.
Under the temporary rules, tenants can scan and send copies of their identification or residency paperwork to their landlords which can then be checked for authenticity using video calls instead of a face to face meeting.
Employers can use the same process to carry out right to work checks.
Home secretary Priti Patel said: “I have introduced these temporary changes to help employers and landlords conduct checks more easily as people follow advice to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, during the coronavirus outbreak.
“Once the temporary changes end, landlords and employers will be asked to carry out the full checks on existing tenants and employees who rented a property or started work during the pandemic.”
Landlords who need support can call the government’s landlord helpline on 0300 069 9799. The full right to rent requirements can be found on the government’s website: www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents.
This week an official guide to support landlords and tenants facing financial and health difficulties during the coronavirus outbreak was also released by the government.