The End of Right to Rent - Good riddance to bad law!

March 2019

Landlords and tenants will be familiar with the the government's right to rent scheme.

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.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) took the Government to court over this policy alleging that it led to racial discrimination with landlords erring on the side of caution by being less likely to rent to any ethnic minority tenant.

Today the High Court agreed and ruled  that the policy was unlawful.

Mr Justice Spencer 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,”

Acknowledgements to Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Full judgement here 


Jonathan Lynn & Christopher Shepherd are both experts on property law, so if you have an issue concerning your property please don't hesitate to contact them if you need legal advice.





Photo by Alex Robert on Unsplash