Landlord organisation will represent views of the sector in court appeal

The Government has decided to appeal against criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen.

It means that landlords will have a major role to play in considering the future of the controversial scheme as the Residential Landlords Association has been given permission to make a written and oral submission.

Following a Judicial Review of the policy secured by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and supported by the RLA, the presiding judge concluded that discrimination by landlords was taking place ‘because of the scheme’ and in his judgment he said that discrimination by landlords was ‘logical and wholly predictable’ when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

Under the Right to Rent policy, private landlords face potential imprisonment of up to five years if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK. It was introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.

Last month, the RLA, together with the JCWI and the3million, an organisation which represents European Union citizens in the UK, called on Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to scrap the Right to Rent if they become the next Prime Minister.

‘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,’ said David Smith, RLA policy director.

‘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,’ he added.