Changes to the Housing Act notices and mandatory claims - are you up to speed?01/12/16
NoSP, ground for possession and evicting persons disqualified from renting are all changes being introduced on 1 December 2016 that will affect both private and social landlords.
Mandatory Ground 7B
There is a new mandatory Ground for Possession, 7B, which relates to a claim for possession against someone who does not have the right to a rent a property under the 2014 Act.
The Immigration Act 2016 introduces a new Ground that can be used against Assured tenants:-
Both of the following conditions are met in relation to a dwellinghouse in England.
Condition 1 is that the Secretary of State has given a notice in writing to the landlord or, in the case of joint landlords, one or more of them which identifies—
- (a) the tenant or, in the case of joint tenants, one or more of them, or
- (b) one or more other persons aged 18 or over who are occupying the dwelling-house,
as a person or persons disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying the dwelling-house under the tenancy.
Condition 2 is that the person or persons named in the notice—
- (a) fall within paragraph (a) or (b) of condition 1, and
- (b) are disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying the dwelling-house under the tenancy.
For the purposes of this ground a person (“P”) is disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying the dwelling house under the tenancy if—
- (a) P is not a relevant national, and
- (b) P does not have a right to rent in relation to the dwellinghouse.
P does not have a right to rent in relation to the dwelling-house if—
- (a) P requires leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom but does not have it, or
- (b) P's leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom is subject to a condition preventing P from occupying the dwelling house.
But P is to be treated as having a right to rent in relation to a dwelling-house if the Secretary of State has granted P permission for the purposes of this ground to occupy a dwelling-house under an assured tenancy.
So the landlord can serve a new Notice. At least 14 days’ notice must be given. The court can not dispense with the notice. There is a similar provision for Rent Act tenancies.
The court must make an order for possession. However it can order that the tenancy is transferred into the name of a joint tenant who is a qualifying tenant (or tenants if there is more than one). Whether this would result in the previous tenant, who did not have the right rent, leaving the property seems questionable.
To reflect the new Mandatory ground for possession they have made minor changes to the prescribed Notice Seeking Possession under s8 Housing Act 1988. The new form should be used for all notices served on or after 1 December 2016. It can be found here in the Schedule to these Regulations.
Eviction without a Court Order?
If a landlord is given notice by the government that all of the occupiers over 18 do not have the right to rent then it can potentially evict them now without court order. This applies to all adult occupiers not just those named on the tenancy agreement.
In such circumstances there is a new prescribed form that can be served on the tenant(s).
It has to give them at least 28 days’ notice. If the occupiers do not then leave the landlord can peacefully evict them without the need to go to court.
This can include removing their belongings and placing them in storage and changing the locks. The landlord will not be able to use or threaten violence but the tenancy will fall outside the Protection from Eviction Act. Please click here for the new form.
How can Capsticks help?
Landlords unsure about the new notices or procedures should get in touch with our team of specialist lawyers at Capsticks who can assist them in complying with these new and complex requirements.
Please contact Daniel Skinner, Michael Owen or Bridget Stark-Wills who would be happy to help ensure that all your policies and procedures are up to date.