Right to rent – notice to quit treated as High Court order

by David Asker

14:40 PM, 8th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Right to rent – notice to quit treated as High Court order

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Right to rent – notice to quit treated as High Court order

Since 1st December 2016, landlords who knowingly let to a tenant who has no right to rent in the UK are committing a criminal offence.

Under the Immigration Act 2016, landlords and agents not carrying out these checks now face prosecution and a fine, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

Making the checks

It is not just a one-off process at the beginning of the tenancy, as the landlord (or their agent) must run another check on their status just before the expiry of their right to stay or 12 months after the last check, depending on which is longest.

Termination of agreement where all occupiers disqualified

Under Part 2, Section 40, 33D of the Immigration Act 2016, it states that the landlord can terminate the tenancy agreement by giving the tenant (or all tenants if it is a joint tenancy) notice to quit in writing. They must set a date for the end of the agreement, which must not be less than 28 days from the date of notice.

This is on the condition that the Secretary of State has given one or more notices in writing to the landlord which, taken together, identify the occupier/s of the premises, and state that they are disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying premises under a residential tenancy agreement.

Notice can be given by delivering or posting it to the tenants, leaving it at the premises or any other prescribed manner.

33D(6) states that “The notice is to be treated as a notice to quit in a case where a notice to quit would otherwise be required to bring the residential tenancy agreement to an end.”

Order of the High Court

33D(7) states that “The notice is enforceable as if it were an order of the High Court.”

This is very interesting, as this means that the landlord can simply instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) who will go through the process to obtain a writ of possession.

No prior approval is required from the court (as it would be for a “normal” eviction from residential premises issued in a County Court), making the HCEO route the quickest and simplest option.

Contact The Sheriffs Office



Comments

Kate Mellor

10:53 AM, 10th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Surely we aren't expected to check the Right to Rent status EVERY YEAR for tenants holding a British Passport?

Luke P

12:20 PM, 10th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kate Mellor" at "10/02/2017 - 10:53":

I thought the same on first reading, but I think it means if they're time-limited to check again (not everyone).

Kevin McLandlord

22:55 PM, 16th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Can anyone confirm if Luke is right? The way the article is worded could be interpreted either way...

Luke P

7:20 AM, 17th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Kozie Ltd" at "16/02/2017 - 22:55":

If you're a UK Citizen with a British passport/birth certificate, no amount or re-checking or passage of time would alter your citizenship status or place of birth (thus right to reside/rent)…

Romain Garcin

10:34 AM, 17th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Repeated checks only apply to people with a limited 'right to rent', which means non-EEA citizens.

There is also no need to repeat the check every 12 months but only when the visa expires.
The 12 month period only applies when the visa expires within 12 months of the previous check, as David's article mentions above.

Kevin McLandlord

10:49 AM, 17th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Thanks all.

This is the problem when they implement so many draft rules; you can never be too sure...!


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