Right to Rent Judicial review permitted by High CourtMake Text Bigger
The High Court yesterday permitted a Judicial review of the governments controversial Right to Rent legislation which forces landlords to take on the responsibility of customs/border officials.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is 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.
Chief executive of the JCWI, Satbir Singh, welcoming the court’s decision said: “Like many other aspects of the hostile environment, the Right to Rent creates real risks of discrimination.”
“The chief inspector of borders, the Residential Landlords Association and JCWI have all provided the government with evidence of the need for a review.”
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.
David Smith, RLA policy director, said: “Landlords will welcome the High Court decision to allow a judicial review of the Right to Rent policy which has put them in the impossible position of acting as untrained Border Police trying to ascertain who does and who does not have the right to be in the country.
“This has created difficulties for many legitimate tenants as landlords are forced to play safe and only rent to those with a UK passport. The announcement is an important step towards overturning a policy which the government’s own inspectorate had described as having yet to demonstrate its worth.”
The JCWI is seeking to crowdfunding “Challenge the expansion of landlord immigration checks” see >> https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/right-to-rent/
Separately, a letter signed by Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National, Plaid Cymru and Green party MPs was given to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, telling him to scrap or review Right to Rent.
The letter attacking the policy indicated the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration “was particularly concerned with the lack of any monitoring or evaluation mechanisms that would allow the government to ascertain whether the scheme was having its intended effect, or whether it is creating unintended consequences.
“The Windrush scandal has drawn attention to the effects of the so called hostile environment. It also provides a stark warning of the consequences that can be expected when ministers and officials fail to respond to the repeated warnings of experts about the impact of their policies.”
The Home Office responded saying: “We noted the Independent Chief Inspectors’ recommendations on the Right to Rent scheme and we continue to take steps to ensure it is implemented and communicated as effectively as possible.”
So no U-turn yet but watch this space!
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