Landlords are to be given a major role 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 scheme 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 Residential Landlords Association will be able to make a written and oral submission to the case 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 5 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 the3million 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, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, 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 that 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 is yet to be set.
- The full High Court ruling on the Right to Rent can be accessed here
- The RLA’s most recent research on the Right to Rent can be accessed here
- The Independent Chief Inspectors of Borders and Immigration report on the Right to Rent can be accessed here The foreword notes state:
“Overall, I found that the RtR scheme had yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance, with the Home Office failing to coordinate, maximise or even measure effectively its use, while at the same time doing little to address the concerns of stakeholders.”
Research by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory notes:
“The foreign-born population is almost three times as likely to be in the private rental sector (41% were in this sector in the second quarter of 2017), compared to the UK-born (15%).” Further details can be accessed here
The Residential Landlords Association represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector across England and Wales.