Yesterday the High Court granted the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) permission to bring a judicial review of the UK government’s Right to Rent policy requiring landlords to check the immigration status of potential tenants.
This controversial policy is being challenged because the JCWI (supported by the Residential Landlords Association) has found evidence that it was causing indirect discrimination on grounds of race and nationality and so breaching the Human Rights Act. The policy – part of the government’s ‘hostile environment’ approach to immigration – appears to be causing landlords to play it safe with immigration checks, avoiding people with foreign names or passports as non-compliance could mean a fine or even prison.
It is Castleriver’s view that if any government policy results in discrimination then it must be changed. We are particularly concerned about reports that this policy has denied rented accommodation to people from the Windrush Generation because they cannot prove their UK residency.
Whilst we will always require that tenant checks for properties we manage comply with the law, so that our clients are not compromised, we believe that the government needs to take action on the Right to Rent policy so that it does not unfairly deny legitimate tenants a right to a home.