Update on Right to Rent checks
Tue 18 Oct 2016
There are further changes due to come into force at the end of the year relating to Right to Rent checks. At the Conservative Party Conference the Home Secretary stated that further provisions relating to the Immigration Act 2016 relating to Landlords and Letting Agents would be brought into force in December.
They bring in more severe penalties for non compliance and additional powers of enforcement. Currently, landlords and agents can obtain a 'statutory excuse' if it is found that one of their tenants has no right to rent. They can do this by carrying out checks in the approved manner. If they cannot prove the statutory excuse then they could face a cilvil penalty of up to £3000.
From December it will also be a criminal offence for landlords or agents if they knew or should have known that persons living in the property were not in possession of a right to rent. It should be pointed out that the Home Office has stated previously that prosecutions will only be targeted at persistent offenders. However, it is clear that the Governemnt view this has a serious issue that landlords cannot ignore.
In addition there is a new power for the Home Secretary to serve a notice on a landlord to evict a tenant who has never had a right to rent or that right has now expired. There will also be a new ground for possession by way of a section 8 notice which can be ussed to evict tenants in these circumstance.
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