Landlord News

Right to Rent Court Case – Landlords Should Have Their Say

Em Morley - July 11, 2019

With the continuation of the Government’s Right to Rent scheme under question, landlords will have a major part to play in the court’s consideration of its abolition.

The Government has decided to appeal against the High Court’s damning criticism from earlier in the year that the Right to Rent scheme breaches human rights law as it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen.

Following a Judicial Review of the policy secured by the JCWI and supported by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), it was concluded by the presiding judge that discrimination by landlords was taking place “because of the Scheme.” He highlighted 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 now agreed that the RLA will be able to make a written and oral submission to the case ensuring that the views of landlords are at the centre of the case.

The Right to Rent policy states that private landlords face potential imprisonment of up to five years if they know or have “reasonably cause to believe” that the property they are letting is occupied by a person that does not have the right to rent in the UK. 

Theresa May introduced the scheme during her time as Home Secretary, as part of the Home Office’s hostile environment for immigrants.

The RLA, the JCWI and the3million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, got together last month to call on Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to scrap Right to Rent in the event that one of them becomes the next Prime Minister.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, 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.”