Right to Rent challenge lost in Court of Appeal

Right to Rent challenge lost in Court of Appeal

10:08 AM, 22nd April 2020, About 4 years ago 3

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In 2018 the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and the RLA obtained a Judicial Review of the government’s Right to Rent scheme based on the argument that it increased discrimination against ethnic minorities and foreigners by making Landlords responsible for checking the right of a tenant to reside in the UK for at least the term of the tenancy.

However the case against Right to Rent was lost at the Court of Appeal: Click here to dowload the ruling

The Judges concluded discrimination as a result of the scheme was quite possibly foreseeable, but not inevitable. Landlords may discriminate against those who do not have British passports, because of a fear of the consequences of letting to an irregular immigrant, but this wasn’t due to the design of the scheme and it is up to government to enforce both Right to Rent and Equality Act obligations.

A statement from the JCWI said:

“Any amount of racial discrimination is unacceptable. Right to Rent turns landlords into untrained border guards. If they rent a property to someone without the right paperwork, they face huge fines or even imprisonment, but there is effectively no consequence for taking the low-risk option, opting for white people with British passports.

“The result is that the Court of Appeal thought it could take black people, ethnic minorities and migrants up to twice as long to find a property to rent as a white British person.

“The Government should be doing everything in its power to stamp out discrimination – instead, it is still arguing it should be allowed to cause it.”

Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director at JCWI  said: “We have seen in the past few weeks how much we rely on the many migrant and ethnic minority workers in the NHS, the care sector and other essential services and industries.

“The government is actively upholding a system that effectively places them at the back of the queue for a safe place to live.”

The JCWI has confirmed it will now look to take the issue to the Supreme Court.

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12:56 PM, 22nd April 2020, About 4 years ago

Fully 50% of my tenants are foreigners, I have never had any concern, however with the tenant right to "peaceful enjoyment" that doesn't make the pigs ear of the R2R process into any effective silk purse and it remains unfit for purpose

Tim Rogers

15:13 PM, 22nd April 2020, About 4 years ago

It's the unofficial border guard come immigration officer aspect that bugs me. It's relatively easy to aquire a false passport and even easier to get a false stamp in a valid passport. How many landlords are able to identify such things?

I am unaware of any method of validating such things via formal channels, (maybe wiser heads are)? Should a landlord or their agent be tricked, I fear it would become a very grey area of litigation, particularly if it could be proved that the tenant entered the country on a false passport.

Paul Maguire

17:39 PM, 22nd April 2020, About 4 years ago

Doesn't apply in Scotland however. Took me a couple of years of passport photocopying before I found that out.

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