The Immigration Act 2014 imposed an obligation on landlords to carry out necessary checks to ensure they were renting to a person who has the Right to Rent in the UK and the consequence of non-compliance was a penalty notice of up to £3,000. However, since 1 December 2016 it is also a criminal offence to rent to a person who does not have the Right to Rent, a landlord who does so could face imprisonment of a term not exceeding 5 years, a fine or both.
Terminating the Tenancy
Notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988
A mandatory ground for possession of property has been inserted to schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 being ground 7B which a landlord can rely on where the landlord(s) have received notice from the Secretary of State notifying them that 1 or more of the occupiers in the property are unlawfully residing in the UK. When seeking possession of property on ground 7B 14 days’ notice must be given following which a possession order must be obtained
Section 33D Notice
Where the Secretary of State has given notice to the landlord(s) identifying all occupiers (if there are more than one) in the property are disqualified from renting in the UK, the landlord may serve a notice under Section 33D (3) of the Immigration Act 2014 in the prescribed form giving no less than 28 days’ notice to vacate the let property. In this case the notice would be treated as if it were a High Court order and can be enforced without the need for a possession order. It is important to carry the necessary checks on prospective tenants before granting a tenancy agreement to ensure you are renting to persons who have the Right to Rent. You can find more about the Right to Rent on our website.