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City of Sanctuary welcomes High Court ruling on Right to Rent

City of Sanctuary welcomes the High Court ruling which declared the Government’s Right to Rent scheme unlawful because it causes unacceptable racial discrimination.

The Right to Rent scheme requires private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants and potential tenants and can result in them facing unlimited fines or even a prison sentence for renting to undocumented migrants.  

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) which took the Government to court has long warned that these measures increase discrimination for people of colour, people with accents and people with foreign names who will be asked to prove their immigration status even if they’ve lived here their whole lives.  

Delivering the ruling today (1st March 2019) Mr Justice Spencer at the High Court found that: 

  • Requiring landlords to check immigration status caused racial discrimination against anyone without a British passport and against ethnic minorities;
  • The Government had failed to show that the checks had any actual effect on encouraging undocumented migrants to leave the country.

The Judge also said:

It is my view that the Scheme introduced by the Government does not merely provide the occasion or opportunity for private landlords to discriminate but causes them to do so where otherwise they would not,” said Mr Justice Spencer.

JWCI stated that the Government’s Hostile Environment policies, designed to drive undocumented migrants out of the UK, were widely recognised to be the root cause of the discrimination and miscarriages of justice suffered by the Windrush generation. Like them, British ethnic minorities and foreign nationals seeking homes have now been found to be at risk of racism as a direct result of Government policy.

JWCI and their supporters calls for the immediate scrape of the Right to Rent scheme and appeal for people to take some action, click here.