A legal challenge to overturn controversial Right to Rent laws for landlords and tenants is underway in the courts.
Charity the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) hasbrought the action in London’s High Court.
The legal team for the JCWI is arguing the legislation discriminates against foreigners who have a right to live in England but do not have the documents to prove their case, such as the Windrush generation from The Caribbean.
Under the scheme, prospective tenants must provide their landlord with proof of their right to residence before they move into a private rented home.
Home Office figures show that more than 400 landlords have paid almost £250,000 in fines for failing to check right to rent documents in the two years since the scheme started.
Meanwhile, David Bolt, who is Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has reported “that the policy has yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance” and that the Home Office has “failed to coordinate, maximise or even measure effectively its use, while at the same time doing little to address the concerns of stakeholders.”
Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director at the JCWI, said: “When asked for evidence that the hostile environment was working, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd could only point to anecdotes.
“Home Secretary Sajid Javid said there were no measures in place ‘as such’ to evaluate it.
“We’re talking about the policies that inflicted so much harm on the Windrush generation, and our Home Secretaries are operating in the dark.
“The Right to Rent scheme imposes costly red tape on every landlord in the UK, and the government has no evidence it’s working.”
The Home Office declined to comment on an ongoing legal case.