Landlords are set to receive additional powers to help them evict tenants who are found to be living in the UK illegally.
The Immigration Act 2016 received royal assent on 12th May and will come into effect in the UK, possibly as soon as the autumn. It contains significant new allowances for landlords to act against those who fail Right to Rent checks.
While full details of the act have yet to be published, occupiers will lose all their rights to remain in a property if they are all found to be in the UK illegally; the legislation will allow landlords to immediately serve a 28-day notice to quit.
At the end of that notice period the landlord can use reasonable force to remove the occupiers or he can treat the Secretary of State’s notice and the notice to quit together as an order of the High Court, which means the landlord can instruct a High Court Enforcement Officer directly to remove the occupiers without further court permission - essentially allowing eviction without a court order.
In cases where only some of the people occupying a property do not pass the Right to Rent criteria, a variety of different eviction processes exist. One of these will be a new mandatory ground for possession, which has been created by our legislators as a new ground, 7B, under a Section 8 notice.
Carole Charge, technical and compliance director at property specialist Leaders, says: “The Immigration Act 2016 contains substantial new powers for landlords and makes it easier for them to evict people who have no right to be living in the country.
“These new measures will make it easier to enforce immigration laws and to prevent illegal immigrants from accessing housing.
“More information and guidance is yet to be released, at which point we will know more about the precise options available to landlords looking to evict illegal immigrants occupying their property.
“Landlords should ensure they keep an eye on the information the government will publish in the coming months. Alternatively, using the services of a professional letting agents such as Leaders means landlords can relax as our in-house experts look after everything for them in line with all the latest legislation.”
For more information on the Immigration Act 2016 or on any aspect of letting a property, please contact your local Leaders branch.