From 1 February 2016 all private landlords in England must check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property.

For further guidance on carrying out right to rent checks see the GOV.UK website at https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents

The Immigration Bill

The Immigration Bill 2015-16 was introduced into the House of Commons in September and contains provisions that will make it easier for landlords to evict illegal immigrant tenants and introduce four new criminal offences targeted at unscrupulous landlords and agents who repeatedly fail to carry out right to rent checks and fail to take steps to remove illegal immigrants from their properties.

The Bill is expected to be passed in 2016.

Abandoned properties

The government has proposed that in certain cases a private sector landlord will be able to recover possession of an abandoned property without the cost and delay of going to court to obtain a court order. The new procedure if implemented will involve giving a tenant notice which brings the tenancy to an end on that day if certain conditions are met; these conditions will be that a certain amount of rent is unpaid, that the landlord has given a series of warning notices and that neither the tenant or a named occupier has responded in writing to those warning notices before the date specified in the notices.

A tenant will be able to apply within 6 months of the tenancy ending for their tenancy to be reinstated if they had a good reason for failing to respond to the warning notices.

The Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16 is expected to be passed later this year.

Employer-provided living accommodation

The government has asked for evidence in relation to employer-provided living accommodation with a closing date for comments of 3 February 2016; this followed the Office of Tax Simplification’s recommendations for simplification of the tax rules in this area. It remains to be seen whether any resulting legislation will be included in the Finance Bill 2016.

For further information contact Arif Khalfe.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.

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