Right to Rent - Understanding your obligations

26th April 2017 posted in Landlords

From February 2016, Right to Rent went live across England, but since then; what has changed and do you understand your obligations?

It is important for our Landlords to keep abreast of changes with the law, especially those who self-manage – you are responsible for carrying out follow up checks when any time limited right to rent expires.  Please do make sure you do this – read the links below for additional help, or contact your local office.  Would a fully managed service suit your needs better in this ever changing rental market?

In a recent update to the legislation the following points were clarified;

– As well as the existing civil penalties, new criminal penalties are added for more severe offenders including unlimited fines and up to 5 years in prison;

– The Home Secretary can serve notices on landlords informing them that despite the fact they have checked the right to rent status of individuals, that those persons in fact have no right to rent;

– When a notice is served a landlord is now obliged to evict promptly and can be prosecuted if he does not. Guidance will be issued on what is meant by prompt eviction;

– There is a new ground for possession on a section 8 notice and equivalent powers to evict for non-Housing Act tenancies;

– If notices from the Home Secretary show that none of the occupiers in a property have a right to rent, then the landlord can issue a 28-day notice to quit and then recover possession of the property without going to court at all.

A brief copy of the original communication from Hunters about Right to Rent is below or can be read via; https://www.hunters.com/news/right-to-rent

All private landlords, including anyone subletting or taking in lodgers, need to carry out quick and simple checks on all new tenants to make sure they have the right to rent property in the country. 

Landlords need to check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. A wide range of documents can be used for the checks, and the Government worked closely with housing and homelessness charities to design a document list which can accommodate different individual circumstances. This includes where people do not have traditional identity documents such as a passport.

There are resources available to help landlords comply with the new rules, including an online checking tool which landlords can use to guide them through the process and to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office.    For more information about making the checks go to www.gov.uk/righttorentchecks

Your Hunters Local Office is briefed on the legislation and we have been carrying out these checks, where instructed to since the changes last year.