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Right to Rent checks to continue despite latest legal challenge

Latest attempt by campaigners to force the Government to reform or scrap the Right to Rent scheme has failed, but the Court agreed it does lead to discrimination.

Nigel Lewis

right to rent

A legal challenge to the Government’s Right to Rent legislation has been rejected by the Court of Appeal, dashing hopes among landlords and letting agents that they would no longer have to complete the controversial immigration procedures.

Campaigning group the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) originally won a Judicial Review of the scheme in 2018 after arguing that the scheme increased discrimination against ethnic minorities and foreigners.

Several court hearings have followed as the Home Office and the JCWI have sparred in court, but the latest has seen three Lord Justices agree that, although the scheme does lead to some discrimination, it should be MPs and Ministers who decide whether it warrants changing or scrapping Right to Rent.

“We have seen in the past few weeks how much we rely on the many migrant and ethnic minority workers in the NHS, the care sector and other essential services and industries,” says Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director at JCWI.

“The government is actively upholding a system that effectively places them at the back of the queue for a safe place to live.”

The latest judgement means that for the time being Right to Rent checks will continue, and only a Supreme Court victory, which now looks unlikely, could change that.

Two and a half weeks ago ARLA Propertymark won clarification from government that Right to Rent checks would not have to be completed face to face during the Coronavirus crisis.
Agents can instead complete Right to Rent interviews by Skype and accept electronic copies of passports instead of having to eyeball the real things.

April 22, 2020

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