Updates to Section 8 Notices
As of the 1st December 2016, new notices must be used for all Section 8 notices. The Immigration Act 2016 sets out changes affecting the new ground 7B seeking possession. New forms are available for The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies following the amendments.
The right to rent provisions introduced in 2014 by the Immigration act have been built upon in the revised act released in 2016. Since the 1st February 2016, the immigration status of occupants must be checked by landlords across England to ensure they have a right to live in the UK and have not been disqualified from renting.
An additional four provisions have been introduced in the Immigration Act as below;
- criminal offences and potential prison sentences for landlords and agents who know or have reasonable cause to believe that they are letting their properties to persons disqualified from renting
- radically changing the law of eviction allowing landlords to terminate tenancies and evict residential occupiers without a court order on giving a notice in the prescribed form if the Secretary of State has given notice that all the occupiers are disqualified from renting
- new mandatory grounds for possession of assured tenancies and Rent Act 1977 tenancies to simplify a landlord’s ability to regain possession where they are letting to persons some of whom are disqualified from renting
- a new obligation and associated offence to evict within a ‘reasonable period’ of being notified that some or all of the occupiers have no right to rent
Following the provisions, a revised Section 8 notice for seeking possession of assured tenancies has been published recently; this incorporates references to the new grounds for possession where the occupier of the property (or multiple)do not have a right to rent. Alongside the revised Section 8 notice sits guidance for landlords as to what a “reasonable” period of time is for them to take when issuing possession proceedings and following the remainder of the process.