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
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.