Right-to-Rent “causes” landlords to discriminate says High Court

Article Posted -
01 Mar 2019

RCJ

In a case brought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) the High Court has ruled that the Government’s Right-to-Rent scheme contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights’ prohibition of discrimination.

In his Judgment Mr Justice Spencer ruled that Right-to-Rent, which requires landlord to verify immigration status of all potential tenants, “does not merely provide the occasion or opportunity for private landlords to discriminate, but causes them to do so where otherwise they would not”

Responding to news of the judgment, NLA Policy Director Chris Norris said:

“This court ruling confirms what the NLA has long argued; that Right-to-Rent forces landlords to consider characteristics, such as nationality, when determining to whom property should be let.

“It has put thousands of landlords in England in the terrible position of de facto border guard and undoubtedly led to a form of administrative discrimination.

“We hope that Justice Spencer’s words will force the Government to rethink this unpopular and damaging policy.”

Although the court ruling is damning of Right-to-Rent, it will not automatically lead to a change in Government policy. It will now be up to Parliament to decide whether a change in law is necessary.

Importantly, this means that Right-to-Rent remains in force unless and until Parliament changes the law. As such landlords in England must continue to comply with the regulations and verify every tenant's right to reside in the UK.