Posted by Marianne Johns, Senior Associate
Do your tenants have the right to rent? What private landlords can do to protect their property
With the introduction of the ‘rights to rent’ in February last year, private landlords must carry out checks to ensure that their tenants have the right to rent in the UK.
These checks must be carried out at the beginning of a tenancy, as well as just before the expiry of the tenants right to stay (if limited) or 12 months after the initial check, whichever of these events happen later.
Landlords who are aware that their tenants do not have the right to rent or who no longer have the right to rent in the UK are committing a criminal offence.
The ‘rights to rent’
The new rules were outlined and discussed in a previous post that you can find here. But what are the steps that the landlords can take if they learn that the tenants no longer have the right to live in their property?
A landlord can terminate a Tenancy Agreement by giving the tenant, or all tenants if it is a joint agreement, notice to vacate the property in writing, specifying the date on which the tenant/s must vacate the property and therefore when the tenancy agreement will end. The notice period must be no less than 28 days starting from the date specified on the notice given to the tenants.
The written notice may be given by posting or hand delivering it to the tenant/s, by leaving it at the premises or in any other prescribed manner. This notice has the same power as a notice to quit and therefore is capable of bringing a tenancy agreement to an end, where in other circumstances a notice to quit would be required.
The notice is enforceable as if it were an order of the High Court. This is an interesting development as it means landlords can simply instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to obtain a Writ of Possession and enforce this at the premises.
No prior approval is required from the County Court as it would be for any “normal” residential property eviction and this makes it quicker and easier for landlords to regain possession of their property.
For more information surrounding private tenants and the right to rent, contact the Property Dispute team
0800 923 2070 Email us