‘Right to rent’ breaches human rights

The UK Government’s Right to Rent policy has been found to be incompatible with human rights and in breach of the Equality Act 2010. The judgement prevents the UK Government from rolling out the controversial policy in Scotland and Wales. The court also found that the policy in England breaches human rights law.

The policy, which requires all landlords to check the immigration status of any potential tenant, has been in full force in England since 2016. There was widespread concern that this policy was increasing racial discrimination as landlords would opt simply not to rent to anyone they suspected might not be eligible.

The court challenge was led by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and was supported by the EHRC, Liberty, and the Residents and Landlords Association.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

“If this policy had been introduced in Scotland and Wales, landlords could have been forced to racially discriminate through fear of being fined for letting a property to the wrong person. Landlords are not immigration officials and it is profoundly wrong to put them in that position.”

The ruling confirms that the existing policy in England is unlawful and the proposal to extend the policy to Scotland and Wales is incompatible with the Government’s international human rights obligations in terms of private life and non-discrimination.

You can read more about this case here.




Image credit: Beth Cortez-Neaval, Flickr

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