Rent To Rent 'Breaches Human Rights

AFS Team·8 March 2019·3 min read
Rent To Rent 'Breaches Human Rights

Rent To Rent 'Breaches Human Rights

The Government's controversial Right to Rent scheme has been ruled by the High Court to breach human rights.

The scheme demands that landlords check the immigration position of a potential tenant before they are allowed to rent a property.

Landlords face prosecution if they let a property to someone they 'know or have a reasonable cause' to believe does not have the right to rent in the country.

Now Justice Spencer has ruled that the scheme is a breach of human rights because it discriminates against British ethnic minorities and non-UK nationals.

The Residential Landlords' Association joined up with several other groups to bring the case because the scheme discriminates against those who are in the country legally as well as British minorities.

Landlords feared getting things wrong

The RLA says that they carried out research which found that landlords who feared getting the process wrong with 44% of landlords being unlikely to rent to someone who did not have a British passport.

The survey also found that 53% of landlords were unlikely to rent to someone who had a limited time to remain.

Just 20% of UK landlords said they are less likely to let their property to EU nationals.

When the case was underway, the government revealed research which confirmed that a large number of landlords are not willing to have a tenant without a British passport.

Now Justice Martin Spencer has ruled the scheme is a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights because of its discriminatory outlook.

He said: "Government safeguards used for avoiding discrimination, namely telephone advice, online guidance have proved ineffective.

‘Discrimination is carried out by landlords

"In the circumstances, in my judgement, the government cannot wash its hands of responsibility for discrimination, which takes place by asserting that discrimination is carried out by landlords who are acting contrary to the scheme's intention."

The RLA's policy manager, John Stewart, said: "The ruling is a damning critique of government policy and we've warned all along that by turning landlords into unwilling and untrained border police would lead to the form of discrimination the court has found."

He added that the government should now scrap Right to Rent and consider other ways to sensibly manage migration without having to rely on 'untrained landlords doing the job of the Home Office'.