Honourable and personal residential letting experts


Maxine Lester Legal Update

New Offence

There is a new criminal offence of renting to someone who does not have a right to rent for the agent. Landlords may be delighted to know that this will affect the agent. If the agent does not you inform you that your tenant does not have a right to rent.

However there is a defence to this if your agent has taken steps to evict your tenant within a reasonable period of time from finding out that the tenants do not have a right to rent – a ‘reasonable’ period of time being three months.

The Eviction Procedure

Landlords can now serve a notice, which should be in a prescribed form, after receiving notification from the Secretary of State that your tenant/s do not have a right to rent. It must give not less than 28 days’ notice and must attach the Secretary of State’s notice.

If the tenant has not vacated by the expiry of the notice period, you can treat it as an order of the High Court and get the High Court Sheriffs to evict the tenants – without having to get a Court Order first.

You can, however, only do this if ALL the tenants are without a right to rent. Otherwise, you should use the new Ground 7B which has been inserted into Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988. This is a mandatory ground – however, if some of the tenants do have a right to rent, the Judge will have the option to transfer the tenancy into their names alone.

The new eviction ground means that the Section 8 prescribed form is being amended again. This new form will be effective from 1 December so you need to be sure that you are using it. Otherwise tenants will have a technical defence to claims based on an out of date notice.