Important reminders for the Agriculture sector
Reminder: checking the immigration status of your tenants
From 1 February 2016 private landlords of residential properties in England must carry out ‘right to rent’ checks on prospective tenants and other authorised occupiers. Under the Immigration Act 2014, landlords are prohibited from allowing people to occupy their residential properties if that person is disqualified as a result of their immigration status.
The right to rent requirements do not apply in relation to existing tenancies nor to renewals after 1 February 2016 of tenancies granted before this date, provided that the parties are the same and there has been no break in occupation.
Some types of accommodation are exempt, for example mobile homes and tied accommodation.
What are the consequences of failing to comply? Breaching the prohibition could lead to a civil penalty of up to £3,000.
Changes to procedures to end residential tenancies
From 1 October 2015 new rules apply that place further restrictions on when and how a landlord can serve a notice ending an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. For full details see our article.
ASTs and Agricultural workers
Remember that in the case of an agricultural worker it is not possible to create an AST unless a prior notice is served on the worker in the prescribed form. If the prior notice is not served, it is likely the worker will occupy under an Assured Agricultural Occupancy with greater protection for the tenant and greater difficulty for the landlord when seeking vacant possession.
For further help or advice, please contact Johanne Spittle.
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.