RLA: Right to Rent should be scrapped

Ryan Bembridge

March 22, 2019

The government’s Right to Rent policy should be scrapped after the High Court ruled that discrimination is central to the scheme, the Residential Landlords Association has urged.

A court ruled that a landlord who seeks to repossess property where the Home Office tells them a tenant does not have the right to rent, is breaching equalities law because it discriminates on the basis of nationality.

Yet under the terms of the scheme – introduced when Theresa May was home secretary – landlords are responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants and can be prosecuted if they have ‘reasonable cause to believe’ they are renting to someone who does not have a right to rent in the UK.

A further ruling concluded that the scheme breached the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it led to discrimination against non-UK nationals with the right to rent and British ethnic minorities.

David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, said: “This new ruling makes the Right to Rent a farce. To put landlords in a position where acting on a direct instruction provided by the Home Office leaves them open to breaching equality law cannot be tolerated.

“With the High Court having ruled that discrimination is baked into the Right to Rent scheme it is time for the policy to be scrapped altogether.”

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