THE TORIES’ ‘right to rent’ checks are a breach of human rights, the High Court ruled yesterday.
These are rules which force landlords to do immigration checks on their tenants, kicking them out if they believe that they are ‘illegal immigrants’ and shopping them to the authorities.
The ‘right to rent’ scheme, which requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, was introduced in England in 2016.
Judges said it would be illegal to roll it out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland without further evaluation.
Judge Martin Spencer said the scheme had ‘little or no effect’ on its main aim of controlling immigration and even if it had, this was ‘significantly outweighed by the discriminatory effect’.
A similar scheme that the Tories attempted to impose on the NHS, where doctors were told that they too had to check the immigration status of their patients, was thrown out, first by doctors themselves who refused to implement it, insisting that they would not be made to ‘act like border guards’. Then early in May last year, the government suspended the controversial NHS policy.
The challenge to the ‘right to rent’ was brought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), which claimed the scheme was ‘race discrimination against those who are perfectly entitled to rent’.
Responding to the ruling, legal policy director Chai Patel said there was ‘no place for racism in the UK housing market’. He added that the judgement ‘only reveals the tip of the iceberg’ and called on Parliament to scrap the policy.
The Residential Landlords Association also welcomed the ruling and said the policy had turned landlords into ‘untrained and unwilling border police’.
Since PM May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ has been exposed through the Windrush Scandal, the Tories are finding it increasingly difficult for them to get their anti-immigration policies rolled out.