Legislation Updates: Right to Rent, Eviction Notices and Planning Regulations

Intus Lettings, 29 July 2021

There have been a number of new changes in the lettings industry throughout Q2, so we thought we would compile everything you need to know into one place!

Right to Rent check changes

The focus of the Right to Rent check moving forward will be on the immigration status of an applicant. For EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before the end of 2020, this will generally be Settled or Pre-Settled.

Checking EU citizens in existing tenancies

There is no requirement to carry out a retrospective check on EEA citizens who entered a tenancy before 30 June 2021. If the original check was done under the guidance that applied at the time of the check, the agent will maintain a continuous statutory excuse.

Follow up checks

If a follow-up check is carried out and reveals that a tenant no longer has a Right to Rent in the UK, or a tenant instead refuses to undergo the follow-up check, the agent should report this to the Home Office. Doing this will generate a unique reference which will be evidence of your continued statutory excuse.

Online checks

A Right to Rent check can still be undertaken via the Home Office online checking service for now. When undertaking the check, the agent inputs a share code and date of birth into the online checking service. This will generate a real-time immigration status for a Right to Rent check, as well as dates for follow-up checks if necessary. The agent must keep a copy of this result for 12 months.

At the moment, these checks can be carried out via video call beyond the end of the COVID-19 arrangements for adjusted checks in August 2021, as they do not depend on the agent seeing hard copy documents.

Agents are unable to insist that individuals prove their status in this way, and applicants must have an equal opportunity to go through either a manual check using hard copy documents or the online check to avoid discrimination.

As of 31 August 2021, manual checks must be carried out in person.

EEA Nationals and Biometric Passports

Nationals of EEA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and USA who hold a Biometric passport can enter the UK via egates at airports and ports and will be allowed to stay in the country for up to six months. They will not have a visa type document or a stamp in their passport but are permitted to use their passport and evidence of travel (transport ticket/boarding pass) to demonstrate their Right to Rent.

An agent must schedule a follow-up check before the end of the 12-month Right to Rent period when a person’s evidence for a Right to Rent check is based on this.

Government Guidance on Eviction Notices

The following has been taking directly from www.gov.uk. For more information click here.

Section 21 notices requiring possession of a property under an assured shorthold tenancy

Landlords can only use a Section 21 notice to ask their tenants to leave their property:

• If the notice expires at or after the end of the fixed term.

• During a tenancy with no fixed end date - known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy.

Section 21 notices issued between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 must give tenants at least six months’ notice that the landlord requires possession, and those issued on or after 1 June 2021 must give tenants at least four months’ notice.

Where a landlord gives a tenant a valid Section 21 notice between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 inclusive, the notice will be valid for:

• 10 months from the date it is given to the tenant.

• 4 months from the date specified in the notice as the date after which possession is required.

Where a landlord gives a tenant a valid Section 21 notice on or after 1 June 2021, the notice will be valid for:

• 8 months from the date it is given to the tenant.

• 4 months from the date specified in the notice as the date after which possession is required.

A landlord cannot use a Section 21 notice if any of the following apply:

• It is less than 4 months since the tenancy started.

• The property is a house in multiple occupation and requires a licence under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 S55 and that licence has not been obtained. Unless a temporary exemption applies, an application for a licence has been made and is still effective or the landlord has notified their local authority that they are seeking a temporary exemption and that notification is still effective. (This applies even if a licence application or notification could not be made due to COVID-19 outbreak).

• The property is other residential accommodation and requires a licence under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 S79 and that licence has not been obtained. Unless a temporary exemption applies, an application for a licence has been made and is still effective or the landlord has notified their local authority that they are seeking a temporary exemption and that notification is still effective (this applies even if a licence application or notification could not be made due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak).

• The tenancy was granted on or after 6 April 2007 or is a statutory periodic tenancy that arose on or after that date and the landlord has not complied with the relevant tenant deposit protection legislation.

• The council has served an improvement notice or an emergency remedial notice in the last 6 months.

• Guidance describes on measures that will protect tenants from eviction when they raise a complaint about the condition of their home.

For tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, a landlord also cannot use a Section 21 notice if they have not given their tenants copies of:

• the property’s Energy Performance Certificate.

• a current Landlord Gas Safety Record (if the property has gas appliances installed).

• the government’s ‘How to rent’ guide

Giving tenants a Section 21 notice

Landlords must use Form 6A if the tenancy was started or renewed after 30 September 2015.

Form 6a has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures which come into force on 1 June 2021 and it is available on the gov.uk assured tenancies forms webpage from 1 June. In particular, it states that where the notice is issued on or after 1 June 2021, tenants are entitled to at least four months’ notice before the landlord is able to apply to the court for a possession order. The Form 6A referring to the six-month notice period requirement can only be used for notices issued on and before 31 May 2021.

If the tenants do not leave the property by the date specified on the form as the date after which possession is required, the landlord can apply to the court, within the period for which the notice remains valid, for a possession order using either the standard possession process or the accelerated possession process.

Section 8 notices seeking possession of a property under an assured or assured shorthold tenancy

To give tenants a Section 8 notice that the landlord intends to seek possession using a ground in schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988, a landlord must fill in Form 3 - ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy’.

Form 3 has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures made by the new regulations. The amended form now makes it clear that court proceedings cannot begin earlier than 4 months from the date the notice is served except in certain serious cases. These include those in relation to anti-social behaviour (including rioting), certain cases of domestic abuse in the social sector, false statement, where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of at least 4 months’ rent, where the tenant has passed away and where the tenant does not have the right to rent under immigration legislation. The table below illustrates the notice periods now required for the different grounds.

Landlords need to specify in the notice the specific grounds they are using to seek possession of the property. The table below sets out the minimum notice a landlord needs to provide depending on which ground is being used.

If the case involves anti-social behaviour, and ground 14 or ground 7A is being relied upon, then the notice period for those grounds will apply even if other grounds are also being used.

Where the landlord relies on multiple grounds (but not ground 14 or ground 7A) the notice required will be the higher of the notice periods relevant to those grounds.

Where the landlord is seeking possession on grounds 1, 2, 5 to 7A, 9 or 16 (without ground 14) court proceedings also cannot begin before the date on which the tenancy (had it not been assured) could have been brought to an end by a notice to quit served at the same time as the notice.

The validity of Section 8 notices remains unchanged by the Coronavirus Act 2020. Section 8 notices continue to be valid for 12 months after they are served.

Landlords can apply to the court for a possession order if the tenants do not leave by the date specified in the form as the earliest date on which possession proceedings can be brought.

Notices under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985 seeking possession of a property let under a secure tenancy

Part I – Secure Periodic Tenancies

To give tenants notice that the landlord intends to seek possession of a secure periodic tenancy, a landlord must fill in this form - ‘Part I Notice of Possession under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985’.

The form has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures following the new regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

A new version of Form 6a which has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures coming into force on 1 June will be made available on the gov.uk assured tenancies forms webpage from 1 June. The amended form will make clear that for notices issued on or after 1 June 2021, tenants are entitled to at least four months’ notice before a landlord is able to apply to the court for a possession order.

The existing Form 6a referring to the six-month notice period requirement will remain available until 1 June 2021 and should be used for notices issued before this time.

Landlords need to specify in the notice the specific grounds they are using to seek possession of the property. The table below sets out how much notice a landlord needs to provide depending on which ground they use.

This includes where possession is being sought on Ground 2 of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985. Where that is the case, the notice period associated with Ground 2 will apply even where any of the other grounds are also being used.

Where the landlord relies on multiple grounds (but not ground 2) the minimum notice required will be the higher of the notice periods relevant to those grounds.

Landlords can apply to the court for a possession order if the tenants do not leave by the specified date.

Part II – Secure Tenancies for A Fixed Term

To give tenants notice that the landlord intends to seek possession of a secure tenancy for a fixed term (that contains a provision which allows a landlord to bring it to an end before the fixed term expires), a landlord must fill in this form - ‘Part II Notice of Seeking Termination of Tenancy and Recovery of Possession under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985’

The form has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures following the new regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The amended form now makes it clear that court proceedings cannot begin earlier than 6 months from the date the notice is served except in certain serious cases. These include those in relation to anti-social behaviour (including rioting), certain cases of domestic abuse, false statement and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of over 6 months’ rent. The Table below illustrates the notice periods now required for the different grounds.

Landlords need to specify on the notice the specific grounds they are using to seek possession of the property. The table below sets out how much notice a landlord needs to provide depending on which ground they use.

Where the anti-social behaviour ground, ground 2 is being relied upon, the notice period associated with that ground will apply even where any of the other grounds are also being used.

Landlords can apply to the court for a possession order if the tenants do not leave by the specified date.

Changes to Planning Regulations

The Government is planning on cracking down on new-build properties that lack sufficient light and space. Over the next few months, legislation is expected to be introduced for minimum light and space requirements. This means that developers will have to adhere to the minimum requirements through planning regulations before selling or renting out a property.

Making Tax Digital

Upcoming changes to how you send HMRC updates on your income and expenses are set to be rolled out over the coming months. If you are a landlord with a turnover of more than £85,000, you will be required to be using a digitised system to update your income and expenses on a quarterly basis.

This change prevents the need to complete a tax return and only requires you to sign a declaration in the hope of making the information more accurate, as well as making it easier for landlords to keep on top of things.

As earlier mentioned, the change is expected to be rolled out over the coming months and it is expected that all landlords must sign up in 2022, with no minimum cap of turnover/


Legislation Updates: Right to Rent, Eviction Notices and Planning Regulations

Intus Lettings, 29 July 2021

There have been a number of new changes in the lettings industry throughout Q2, so we thought we would compile everything you need to know into one place!

Right to Rent check changes

The focus of the Right to Rent check moving forward will be on the immigration status of an applicant. For EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before the end of 2020, this will generally be Settled or Pre-Settled.

Checking EU citizens in existing tenancies

There is no requirement to carry out a retrospective check on EEA citizens who entered a tenancy before 30 June 2021. If the original check was done under the guidance that applied at the time of the check, the agent will maintain a continuous statutory excuse.

Follow up checks

If a follow-up check is carried out and reveals that a tenant no longer has a Right to Rent in the UK, or a tenant instead refuses to undergo the follow-up check, the agent should report this to the Home Office. Doing this will generate a unique reference which will be evidence of your continued statutory excuse.

Online checks

A Right to Rent check can still be undertaken via the Home Office online checking service for now. When undertaking the check, the agent inputs a share code and date of birth into the online checking service. This will generate a real-time immigration status for a Right to Rent check, as well as dates for follow-up checks if necessary. The agent must keep a copy of this result for 12 months.

At the moment, these checks can be carried out via video call beyond the end of the COVID-19 arrangements for adjusted checks in August 2021, as they do not depend on the agent seeing hard copy documents.

Agents are unable to insist that individuals prove their status in this way, and applicants must have an equal opportunity to go through either a manual check using hard copy documents or the online check to avoid discrimination.

As of 31 August 2021, manual checks must be carried out in person.

EEA Nationals and Biometric Passports

Nationals of EEA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and USA who hold a Biometric passport can enter the UK via egates at airports and ports and will be allowed to stay in the country for up to six months. They will not have a visa type document or a stamp in their passport but are permitted to use their passport and evidence of travel (transport ticket/boarding pass) to demonstrate their Right to Rent.

An agent must schedule a follow-up check before the end of the 12-month Right to Rent period when a person’s evidence for a Right to Rent check is based on this.

Government Guidance on Eviction Notices

The following has been taking directly from www.gov.uk. For more information click here.

Section 21 notices requiring possession of a property under an assured shorthold tenancy

Landlords can only use a Section 21 notice to ask their tenants to leave their property:

• If the notice expires at or after the end of the fixed term.

• During a tenancy with no fixed end date - known as a ‘periodic’ tenancy.

Section 21 notices issued between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 must give tenants at least six months’ notice that the landlord requires possession, and those issued on or after 1 June 2021 must give tenants at least four months’ notice.

Where a landlord gives a tenant a valid Section 21 notice between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 inclusive, the notice will be valid for:

• 10 months from the date it is given to the tenant.

• 4 months from the date specified in the notice as the date after which possession is required.

Where a landlord gives a tenant a valid Section 21 notice on or after 1 June 2021, the notice will be valid for:

• 8 months from the date it is given to the tenant.

• 4 months from the date specified in the notice as the date after which possession is required.

A landlord cannot use a Section 21 notice if any of the following apply:

• It is less than 4 months since the tenancy started.

• The property is a house in multiple occupation and requires a licence under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 S55 and that licence has not been obtained. Unless a temporary exemption applies, an application for a licence has been made and is still effective or the landlord has notified their local authority that they are seeking a temporary exemption and that notification is still effective. (This applies even if a licence application or notification could not be made due to COVID-19 outbreak).

• The property is other residential accommodation and requires a licence under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 S79 and that licence has not been obtained. Unless a temporary exemption applies, an application for a licence has been made and is still effective or the landlord has notified their local authority that they are seeking a temporary exemption and that notification is still effective (this applies even if a licence application or notification could not be made due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak).

• The tenancy was granted on or after 6 April 2007 or is a statutory periodic tenancy that arose on or after that date and the landlord has not complied with the relevant tenant deposit protection legislation.

• The council has served an improvement notice or an emergency remedial notice in the last 6 months.

• Guidance describes on measures that will protect tenants from eviction when they raise a complaint about the condition of their home.

For tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, a landlord also cannot use a Section 21 notice if they have not given their tenants copies of:

• the property’s Energy Performance Certificate.

• a current Landlord Gas Safety Record (if the property has gas appliances installed).

• the government’s ‘How to rent’ guide

Giving tenants a Section 21 notice

Landlords must use Form 6A if the tenancy was started or renewed after 30 September 2015.

Form 6a has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures which come into force on 1 June 2021 and it is available on the gov.uk assured tenancies forms webpage from 1 June. In particular, it states that where the notice is issued on or after 1 June 2021, tenants are entitled to at least four months’ notice before the landlord is able to apply to the court for a possession order. The Form 6A referring to the six-month notice period requirement can only be used for notices issued on and before 31 May 2021.

If the tenants do not leave the property by the date specified on the form as the date after which possession is required, the landlord can apply to the court, within the period for which the notice remains valid, for a possession order using either the standard possession process or the accelerated possession process.

Section 8 notices seeking possession of a property under an assured or assured shorthold tenancy

To give tenants a Section 8 notice that the landlord intends to seek possession using a ground in schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988, a landlord must fill in Form 3 - ‘Notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy’.

Form 3 has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures made by the new regulations. The amended form now makes it clear that court proceedings cannot begin earlier than 4 months from the date the notice is served except in certain serious cases. These include those in relation to anti-social behaviour (including rioting), certain cases of domestic abuse in the social sector, false statement, where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of at least 4 months’ rent, where the tenant has passed away and where the tenant does not have the right to rent under immigration legislation. The table below illustrates the notice periods now required for the different grounds.

Landlords need to specify in the notice the specific grounds they are using to seek possession of the property. The table below sets out the minimum notice a landlord needs to provide depending on which ground is being used.

If the case involves anti-social behaviour, and ground 14 or ground 7A is being relied upon, then the notice period for those grounds will apply even if other grounds are also being used.

Where the landlord relies on multiple grounds (but not ground 14 or ground 7A) the notice required will be the higher of the notice periods relevant to those grounds.

Where the landlord is seeking possession on grounds 1, 2, 5 to 7A, 9 or 16 (without ground 14) court proceedings also cannot begin before the date on which the tenancy (had it not been assured) could have been brought to an end by a notice to quit served at the same time as the notice.

The validity of Section 8 notices remains unchanged by the Coronavirus Act 2020. Section 8 notices continue to be valid for 12 months after they are served.

Landlords can apply to the court for a possession order if the tenants do not leave by the date specified in the form as the earliest date on which possession proceedings can be brought.

Notices under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985 seeking possession of a property let under a secure tenancy

Part I – Secure Periodic Tenancies

To give tenants notice that the landlord intends to seek possession of a secure periodic tenancy, a landlord must fill in this form - ‘Part I Notice of Possession under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985’.

The form has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures following the new regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

A new version of Form 6a which has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures coming into force on 1 June will be made available on the gov.uk assured tenancies forms webpage from 1 June. The amended form will make clear that for notices issued on or after 1 June 2021, tenants are entitled to at least four months’ notice before a landlord is able to apply to the court for a possession order.

The existing Form 6a referring to the six-month notice period requirement will remain available until 1 June 2021 and should be used for notices issued before this time.

Landlords need to specify in the notice the specific grounds they are using to seek possession of the property. The table below sets out how much notice a landlord needs to provide depending on which ground they use.

This includes where possession is being sought on Ground 2 of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985. Where that is the case, the notice period associated with Ground 2 will apply even where any of the other grounds are also being used.

Where the landlord relies on multiple grounds (but not ground 2) the minimum notice required will be the higher of the notice periods relevant to those grounds.

Landlords can apply to the court for a possession order if the tenants do not leave by the specified date.

Part II – Secure Tenancies for A Fixed Term

To give tenants notice that the landlord intends to seek possession of a secure tenancy for a fixed term (that contains a provision which allows a landlord to bring it to an end before the fixed term expires), a landlord must fill in this form - ‘Part II Notice of Seeking Termination of Tenancy and Recovery of Possession under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985’

The form has been amended to reflect the changes to possession procedures following the new regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020. The amended form now makes it clear that court proceedings cannot begin earlier than 6 months from the date the notice is served except in certain serious cases. These include those in relation to anti-social behaviour (including rioting), certain cases of domestic abuse, false statement and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of over 6 months’ rent. The Table below illustrates the notice periods now required for the different grounds.

Landlords need to specify on the notice the specific grounds they are using to seek possession of the property. The table below sets out how much notice a landlord needs to provide depending on which ground they use.

Where the anti-social behaviour ground, ground 2 is being relied upon, the notice period associated with that ground will apply even where any of the other grounds are also being used.

Landlords can apply to the court for a possession order if the tenants do not leave by the specified date.

Changes to Planning Regulations

The Government is planning on cracking down on new-build properties that lack sufficient light and space. Over the next few months, legislation is expected to be introduced for minimum light and space requirements. This means that developers will have to adhere to the minimum requirements through planning regulations before selling or renting out a property.

Making Tax Digital

Upcoming changes to how you send HMRC updates on your income and expenses are set to be rolled out over the coming months. If you are a landlord with a turnover of more than £85,000, you will be required to be using a digitised system to update your income and expenses on a quarterly basis.

This change prevents the need to complete a tax return and only requires you to sign a declaration in the hope of making the information more accurate, as well as making it easier for landlords to keep on top of things.

As earlier mentioned, the change is expected to be rolled out over the coming months and it is expected that all landlords must sign up in 2022, with no minimum cap of turnover/