Judicial Review of Right to Rent Scheme allowed by High Court

A judicial review of the Government’s Right to Rent policy has been ruled to go ahead by the High Court.

Rolled out across England in 2017, the scheme required landlords to identify whether tenants have a right to be in the country, meaning they have to check immigration status.

However, some campaigners have suggested that the scheme has hindered some British citizens who lack passports, as well as disadvantaging non-UK citizens in the private rental market.

As such, a group of cross-party MPs, immigration lawyers and landlords had sought to challenge the policy, seeking consent from the High Court to allow a judicial review.

Satbir Singh, the Chief executive of the group – the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), explained that he was pleased with the court’s decision, stating: “Like many other aspects of the hostile environment, the Right to Rent creates real risks of discrimination.

“The chief inspector of borders, the Residential Landlords Association and JCWI have all provided the government with evidence of the need for a review.”

Also sharing his view on the decision was policy director at the Residential Landlords Association, David Smith. He said: “Landlords will welcome the High Court decision to allow a judicial review of the Right to Rent policy which has put them in the impossible position of acting as untrained Border Police trying to ascertain who does and who does not have the right to be in the country.

“This has created difficulties for many legitimate tenants as landlords are forced to play safe and only rent to those with a UK passport.”

“The announcement is an important step towards overturning a policy which the government’s own inspectorate had described as having yet to demonstrate its worth.”

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