Court blasts law forcing landlords to check tenants’ migrant status as judge rules it breaches their human rights
- High Court judges condemned landlords checking a tenant’s right to be in UK
- The rules, introduced in 2014, meant landlords could face fines or imprisonment
- However the High Court ruled that policy clearly breached human rights laws
A key part of the Government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy was in tatters last night after judges ruled it breaches human rights.
The High Court condemned measures forcing landlords to check whether tenants have a right to be in the UK, ruling the so-called ‘right to rent’ scheme has a ‘disproportionately discriminatory effect’.
Mr Justice Martin Spencer said: ‘MPs who voted for this would be aghast to learn of its discriminatory effect.
High Court judges have condemned measures forcing landlords to check whether tenants have a right to be in the UK, ruling the so-called ‘right to rent’ has a ‘discriminatory effect’
‘In my judgment, the evidence strongly showed not only that landlords are discriminating against potential tenants on grounds of nationality and ethnicity but also they are doing so because of the scheme.
‘The scheme does not merely provide the occasion or opportunity for private landlords to discriminate, but causes them to do so where otherwise they would not.’
The rules were introduced in 2014 and meant landlords could face fines or imprisonment for failing to check if tenants had a right to be in the UK.
But the High Court ruled that this policy clearly breached human rights laws.
The rules were introduced in 2014 but now the High Court has ruled the police breached human rights laws
The court ruled in favour of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). The Home Office had argued the scheme was neither ‘directly or indirectly discriminatory’ and would discourage illegal residence in the UK.
While the Home Office was given permission to appeal, critics said the law should be immediately repealed.
Chai Patel, legal adviser of the JCWI said: ‘Today’s judgment demonstrates why the hostile environment must be dismantled.’