This un­paid bor­der guard done good

Vic­to­ria Whit­lock has to ad­mit that be­ing re­spon­si­ble for ver­i­fy­ing ten­ants’ rights to live in the UK isn’t as tricky as she’d feared

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Letting On -

stay for at least an­other six months. Big re­lief all round. How­ever, it still doesn’t seem right that land­lords should have to carry out th­ese Right to Rent checks, espe­cially as some ten­ants are un­der­stand­ably un­easy about al­low­ing any­one other than a badge-wear­ing of­fi­cial to take and store copies of their per­sonal ID.

A cou­ple, also from South Korea, ini­tially re­fused to let me see their doc­u­men­ta­tion be­cause the wife had been a vic­tim of iden­tity theft and didn’t want to risk it again. How did she know I’d store her doc­u­ments safely, she wanted to know. What would hap­pen if the copies were stolen? In fu­ture, to re­as­sure ten­ants, I have reg­is­tered as a data con­troller with the In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice (www.ico.org.uk), which I would ad­vise other land­lords to con­sider. It only costs £35 and although you don’t get a badge or uni­form, the ICO does tell you how to safely store ten­ants’ ID and you can use your mem­ber­ship to re­as­sure ten­ants that you know how to pro­tect their iden­tity. Plus, the thrill of puff­ing out my chest and say­ing: “Trust me, I’m a reg­is­tered data con­troller,” al­most makes all the has­sle worth­while.

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