The High Court has recently passed judgement that the Government’s controversial Right to Rent scheme is in breach of Human Rights Law.
Right to Rent was introduced by Theresa May, whilst she was Home Secretary. This was an important part in what has been seen as the Government’s increasingly ‘hostile environment’ for illegal immigrants.
Nobody is looking to rent their property to someone who is living in the UK illegally, but one of the major problems with 'Right to Rent' is that it puts landlords, and not the Home Office, in charge of confirming that their tenants are legitimate.
It is the personal responsibility of loandlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. This is seen as being completely inappropriate by landlord organisations, mainly due to the fact that they could face prosecution if they don't get it right, and rent their property to somebody who has no right to live in the UK.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has recently brought a case against the Government, alongside The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and Liberty, claiming that this policy is incompatible with Human Rights Law as it encourages discrimination against legitimate non-UK nationals as well as British ethnic minorities.
The JCWI got the verdict that it was hoping for.
The High Court ruled that the scheme is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and that, "beacuse of the scheme", there are alndlords who are discriminatory.
The Judge, Mr Justice Martin Spencer, stated that online guidance, telephone advice and codes of conduct and practice, which are all of the safeguards being used by the Government to avoid discrimination, have proved to be ineffective. He went on to say that “the Government’s own evaluation failed to consider discrimination on grounds of nationality at all, only on grounds of ethnicity.”
The RLA has now called upon on the Government to accept the decision, scrap the Right to Rent, and come up with a better way to sensibly manage migration. This is “without having to rely on untrained landlords to do the job of the Home Office."
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