Right to Rent faces court battle

Right to Rent faces court battle

10:36 AM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago 8

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The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is bringing a case to court this week claiming that forcing landlords to check tenants have the right to reside in the UK during the tenancy is causing serious discrimination against immigrants who do not have a British passport.

It has always been claimed by landlords that forcing them to be customs/border officials will lead to a lower risk policy of letting to tenants where there is no doubt about their right to reside rather than risk being fined, banned or even prison sentences.

This court action by the JCWI is also being backed by the RLA.

JCWI research indicated that as a result of Right to Rent 51% of landlords said that they were now less likely to consider renting to non-EU nationals and 42% were now less likely to rent to those without a UK passport. The latter figure increased to 48% when landlords were explicitly asked to consider the criminal penalties in place.

QC representing the JCWI, Phillippa Kaufman, said: “Landlords are incentivised by the very nature of the scheme to go down the path of least resistance. If they have someone who comes to them with a British passport, they know they are at no risk of criminal liability.

“JCWI argues that the government is not in any position to justify this policy, because it has not gathered any evidence that its ‘hostile environment’ is having any effect. That is the desired effect of prompting illegal migrants to leave, rather than going underground to be exploited by rogue landlords.

“It can’t show that it is achieving that end, and it can’t show it has given any consideration of the unintended impact it is having.”

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings.”


terry sullivan

10:52 AM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

i assume i am funding this?

Whiteskifreak Surrey

11:00 AM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

Whilst I applaud the above mentioned action, the actual problem is going to became even greater when the UK leaves EU. All EU citizens will be treated on par with the current non-EU citizens. It will leave LLs in even more difficult position. How are we going to ascertain that the current EU tenant has a right to living and working in here? How will the check of settled status look like? What are the documents we should check? Will there be any guidance for LLs? When?
We currently let to EU nationals, not sure if they have 'an indefinite leave to remain' or not, they showed us their ID cards. That no longer be valid, as they will have to have their passports, not IDs, to cross the border. What about the new EU nationals wanting to rent?
I do not know, maybe I am exaggerating the problem, but knowing the UK is not prepared for any sort of deal/no deal, I would welcome some guidance on this particular subject.

Ian Narbeth

11:09 AM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

What did they expect? There is a maximum penalty of five years in jail - yes FIVE YEARS IN JAIL - if a landlord lets to someone not entitled to rent from him or her. Of course landlords are going to take the line of least resistance. The law is unjust in that the penalty is disproportionate to the crime and it is unjust in that other people who come into contact with illegal immigrants (let's see - Immigration Officers at ports and airports, traffic police, teachers and healthcare workers) are not subject to similar sanctions.
I am sure the law of unintended consequences kicks in and the illegal immigrants are more likely to fall into the clutches of the unscrupulous landlords who flout the laws.

In the meantime responsible landlords are terrorised by this Draconian law and don't want to play Russian Roulette with their livelihoods.

Dennis Leverett

12:24 PM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

Whats more worrying is that every policy, decision, law made by government now is so poorly thought through and ends up making the problem its trying to resolve 10 times worse and costing billions in wasted effort, money and affecting so many innocent people. It then goes into making crisis management decisions hoping to please/appease all the wrong persons for all the wrong reasons. It won't be long before anarchy rules and that's really worrying. Help says I tearing out my grey flocks.


13:34 PM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 04/06/2018 - 12:24
Dennis you are fortunate, I no longer have any locks to tear!

NW Landlord

16:39 PM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

Wouldn’t be surprised if they started deporting landlords for ...... being landlords such is the sustained attack on our profession.


16:57 PM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by NW Landlord at 04/06/2018 - 16:39
Difficult to deport British nationals even if they are landlords but I suppose the government could rent Alcatraz from the US, landlords should be grateful that the death penalty has been abolished.

Old Mrs Landlord

23:06 PM, 4th June 2018, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 04/06/2018 - 16:57Don't be too sure about that David; never forget the Conservatives have form for bringing in retroactive legislation! Anticipate "hanging's too good for 'em" comments on a certain anti-landlord forum.

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