The Government must end the controversial Right to Rent scheme, after the High Court ruled it in breach of human rights laws on Friday (1st March 2019), insists homelessness charity Crisis.
Last week, the High Court ruled that the policy breaches the European Convention of Human Rights, by causing discrimination in the private rental sector.
The current Right to Rent scheme requires landlords to check that all prospective adult tenants have the right to rent property in the UK, by checking their official documentation, such as a passport or visa.
If landlords fail to complete these checks or let to someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK, they could face criminal charges.
Jon Sparkes, the Chief Executive of Crisis, is pleased with the ruling: “It is fantastic news that the High Court has ruled that this discriminatory policy be reviewed, taking the vital first step needed to scrap it altogether.
“Every day, our frontline staff hear of the overwhelming difficulties faced by homeless people trying to find a tenancy in the already saturated rental market. This is made even harder if someone has to prove their immigration status, especially as official documents like passports can often be lost sleeping rough, moving from hostel to hostel, or fleeing domestic abuse – and replacements can be prohibitively expensive. And, as a result of this policy, many landlords are avoiding renting to anyone they don’t believe to be British, to avoid the threat of prosecution if they accidentally rent to the wrong person.”
He insists: “This can’t carry on. No one deserves to face the devastation of homelessness – especially at a time when the crisis is worsening. The Government must act now to end this policy and ensure that those in the most vulnerable circumstances are supported, rather than pushed further to the fringes.”
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