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Landlords will have a major role to play in a court case considering the future of the government’s Right to Rent scheme.
The government has decided to appeal against a damning criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen.
Following a Judicial Review of the policy secured by the JCWI and supported by the RLA, the presiding judge concluded that discrimination by landlords was taking place “because of the scheme.” In his judgment he said that discrimination by landlords was “logical and wholly predictable” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.
The Court of Appeal has today agreed that the RLA will be able to make a written and oral submission, ensuring that the views of landlords are to be at the centre of the case.
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 Home Secretary as part of the Home Office’s hostile environment for immigrants.
Last month, the RLA, together with the JCWI and the 3million which represents EU citizens in the UK, called on Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to scrap the Right to Rent if they became Prime Minister.
David Smith, RLA policy director, said: “The Right to Rent 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 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.”
A date for the appeal has yet to be set.
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