Four years after it was first introduced, legal campaigners have lost their latest court appeal over the scheme, which they claim is responsible for prompting discrimination against ethnic minorities by landlords.
A campaigning group has lost its latest legal battle to have the government’s controversial Right to Rent scheme scrapped on the grounds that it prompts landlords to discriminate against ethnic minorities.
In a judgement published earlier today at The Royal Court of Appeal, Lord Justices Davis, Henderson and Hickinbottom agreed that the scheme was discriminatory, but stopped short of finding that it violates human rights law.
They instead left it to MPs and the government to decide whether the racial discrimination is ‘greater than envisaged’, pointing out that only a small minority of landlords were being discriminatory.
This legal process has been ongoing for nearly two years after the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) secured permission for a Judicial Review of the scheme, which was launched by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
After several more court actions, this latest decision means in practice that the JCWI must now take its case to the Supreme Court, most likely its last chance to have Right to Rent amended or scrapped.
The scheme was introduced fully in October 2015 following a six-month trial in the Midlands, and requires landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants.
Any landlord found to have rented to someone who doesn’t have the required immigration status faces a fine of up to £3,000 or a criminal sentence.
Commenting on the decision, Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director of the JCWI, says: “At a time when our lives depend on our ability to stay home at home safely, ethnic minorities and foreign nationals are being forced by the government to face discrimination in finding a safety place for them and their families to live.”