Government to appeal against Right to Rent criticism

Michael Lloyd

July 9, 2019

The government will appeal against a criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent scheme breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen.

Following a judicial review of the policy secured by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and supported by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), the judge concluded that discrimination by landlords was taking place because of the scheme.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “The Right to Rent scheme has been a failure. No-one has been prosecuted under the scheme, but it has created a great deal of anxiety for landlords who do not want to go to prison for getting it wrong.

“We are disappointed that the government has chosen to appeal against what was a clear and damning verdict by the High Court.

“However we will ensure that the views of landlords are well represented as we send a message that they should not be used to cover for the failings in the UK border agencies.”

The judge said that discrimination by landlords was “logical and wholly predictable” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

The RLA will make a written and oral submission to the case to represent the views of landlords.

Under the Right to Rent policy, private landlords face potential imprisonment of up to five years if they know or have “reasonable cause to believe” that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK.

It was introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary as part of the Home Office’s hostile environment for immigrants.

The government will appeal against a criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent scheme breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen.

Following a judicial review of the policy secured by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and supported by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), the judge concluded that discrimination by landlords was taking place because of the scheme.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “The Right to Rent scheme has been a failure. No-one has been prosecuted under the scheme, but it has created a great deal of anxiety for landlords who do not want to go to prison for getting it wrong.

“We are disappointed that the government has chosen to appeal against what was a clear and damning verdict by the High Court.

“However we will ensure that the views of landlords are well represented as we send a message that they should not be used to cover for the failings in the UK border agencies.”

The judge said that discrimination by landlords was “logical and wholly predictable” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

The RLA will make a written and oral submission to the case to represent the views of landlords.

Under the Right to Rent policy, private landlords face potential imprisonment of up to five years if they know or have “reasonable cause to believe” that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK.

It was introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary as part of the Home Office’s hostile environment for immigrants.


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