Right to Rent faces court battleMake Text Bigger
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.”
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