Court of Appeal allow Landlords say on Right to Rent

by Property 118

11:56 AM, 10th July 2019
About 4 months ago

Court of Appeal allow Landlords say on Right to Rent

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Court of Appeal allow Landlords say on Right to Rent

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.



Comments

Luke P

14:49 PM, 10th July 2019
About 3 months ago

Been checking R2R status since the day it came in and not once has anyone, official or otherwise, asked to see my collated evidence, nor do I get the impression they ever will. I have, however, happened across an individual with no R2R, tried to report it and nobody was interested. They left my office and proceeded to try all the other agents/LLs in the area...presumably they eventually got fixed up with accommodation, which makes a mockery of the reasoning behind this nonsense!

B4lamb

9:03 AM, 11th July 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 10/07/2019 - 14:49Yes I queried the lack of interest in submitting a report to the home office when you come across someone trying to rent who does not have R2R to my local MP. As written in the guidelines the requirement is just to turn said individuals away. It appears there is only a need to report when a tenants R2R expires, ie. they are overstaying their visa. I received a reply back from the home office minister (Rt, Hon Caroline Nokes MP minister of state for immigration) via my MP stating that in her words the following : " The Right to Rent code of practice deals with the situation where landlords and lettings agents become aware that an existing tenant who no longer has a right to remain in the UK. The code ensures that the landlord continues to have a statutory excuse against a Civil Penalty if they report the matter to the Home Office, whilst the landlord takes steps to recover their property, which can take some time." She goes on to state " However, if a landlord or letting agent suspects that a prospective tenant is in the UK illegally they can report them to the home office in confidence on a voluntary basis by using the immigration crime reporting service." I am yet to go back to ask why this latter paragraph is not stated in the home office guidance notes. It seemed odd to me that the main interest was in tracing overstayers rather than illegal immigrants who may have slipped the net at the borders or those that have expired visas trying to begin a new letting.
Personally I have no issue with the code of practice as the majority of tenants I deal with are UK passport holders or hold an EU passport so they all have a R2R "currently" in the UK.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

11:30 AM, 11th July 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by B4lamb at 11/07/2019 - 09:03I have already repeatedly asked on this forum whether anyone heard about of any type of guidance regarding the R2R after Brexit. Suddenly millions of EU Citizens will not be able to rent if they do not have a settled status. If they are working legally - will they still have R2R here? As I understand a Work Permit might be needed. What about those who are planning to go back to their own countries (trust me - tens of thousands already left and more are planning to) but they need another few months to organise the move and their matters? Can they stay? Or are we risking legal problems by allowing them to continue?
I see R2R as a part of the massive War on Landlords run by the Government so I doubt it is going to be abolished, Boris or Hunt or whoever is a new PM.
I have such tenants (good ones) so we do not want to evict only because they are from the EU and may become illegal after 31 October.
Or maybe I am exaggerating? But as LLs are constantly under siege and attacks from those who supposedly govern this country - anything is possible.
What do the others think? Thank you.


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