New Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 coming into force mainly from 1 February 2017. The new version is mainly a consolidating exercise — the 2006 regulations has been amended but there are also some significant changes which include:
1. Major changes to the Surinder Singh route (coming into effect on 25 November 2016) which on the one hand soften the test to whether residence abroad was “genuine” but on the other hand sanctions refusal “where the purpose of the residence in the EEA State was as a means for circumventing any immigration laws applying to non-EEA nationals to which [the family member] would otherwise be subject”.
2. New power to require EEA applications to be made in a prescribed manner.
3. Confirmed abolition of right of appeal for extended family members.
4. Introduction of potential for out of country appeals to all EEA appeals where the person is judged to have no right of residence (see reg. 32(3) read with Bilal Ahmed).
5. The NA Pakistan judgment is implemented, at least in part, so that a child does not need to have been in education at the time the EEA national parent left the UK.
6. A new “verification” process for the Home Office to check whether an EEA national or family member really qualifies for residence.
7. A new “misuse of rights” provision which appears directly and deliberately to conflict with the Akrich Case C-109/01 and Emsland‑Stärke (Case C‑110/99) judgments.
Landlord can be fined up to £3,000 if they rent the property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in the UK and they can’t show that they checked tenants right to rent.
Landlord might get a ‘referral notice’ to let them know their case is being investigated and that they could get a fine (‘civil penalty’).
Landlord will be sent an ‘information request’ to allow them to provide evidence that they have carried out the check.
After their case has been considered, they will be sent either:
a ‘no action’ notice
a civil penalty notice with the amount they have to pay.
From 1 February 2016, Tenants will have to show that they have a right to rent property in England if: they are starting a new tenancy, there’s a break in the tenancy.
This only applies to residential property in England that they are renting as there main home.
Tenants won’t have to do this if they live in a property in Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton or Walsall that they started renting before 1 December 2014. There are other exemptions from the check.
Landlord or letting agent must check tenants original documents to show they have the right to stay in England and rent a property; check the documents of any other adults living in the property; make copies of their documents and keep them until tenants leave the property; return the original documents to tenants once they’ve finished the check.
Tenants won’t be able to rent the property if they can’t provide evidence of their right to stay in England and rent a property.
There won’t be further checks if tenants stay in the same property and one of the following applies:
British or from an EU country; have no time limit on right to the stay in the UK; have a limited right to stay in the UK, eg on a visa,
Landlord will have to make a repeat check to see documents again just before permission to stay runs out, or after 12 months, whichever is longer.
Checking right to rent with the Home Office
Landlord can ask the Home Office to confirm that tenants have the right to stay in England and rent a property. This is usually because an outstanding application or appeal with the Home Office.
Tenants will have to give th landlord their Home Office reference number to do the checks.
Before October 1st 2015, tenants were routinely given section 21 notices when they signed their contracts. This made it easier for landlords to get the property back when the contract ended.
But for any new or renewal contracts signed on or after 1 October 2015, landlords now have to wait four months before serving a section 21 notice.
To be valid a Section 21 notice must:
be delivered in writing and give you at least two months' notice;
be on a special form if you signed a new contract or a renewal agreement on or after 1 October 2015;
Your landlord must also have followed certain rules for protecting your tenancy deposit and providing you with required tenancy deposit information.
If your tenancy started or was renewed from 1 October 2015, your landlord must also have followed rules for:
giving you a section 21 notice after you complained about repairs;
providing you with an energy performance certificate, gas safety certificate and a government guide for tenants.
Your landlord can't use a section 21 notice to evict you during the fixed term of your contract, but can use a section 8 notice instead.
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