A legal challenge is underway against Right to Rent checks that landlords have to undertake on tenants before allowing them rent a home.
Right to Rent came into force across England in February 2016 and is expected to roll out to Scotland and Wales.
Under the law, landlords or letting agents have to verify the identity of all adults living in a rented home and cannot allow anyone without proof of residence to stay.
The measure is aimed at deterring illegal immigrants from staying in the country.
“We are throwing down the gauntlet and requiring that the Home Office re-evaluate before expanding the scheme outside England,” said Saira Grant, CEO of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)
“We are writing to the Home Secretary to state that we consider any further roll out will be unlawful unless there is a thorough evaluation of the scheme in England, looking at discrimination and at the effectiveness of the scheme itself.”
The JCWI is urging the government to halt extending Right to Rent as research shows 42% of landlords were unlikely to rent a home to someone without a British passport, while 51% agreed they are less likely to rent to a foreigner because of the rules.
The JCWI is crowdfunding the action.
“In the face of clear evidence of discrimination under Right to Rent, the government must show it is not acting illegally before it presses ahead with a rollout to the rest of the UK,” said Grant.
“This is a scheme that not only discriminates against black and minority ethnic Britons, foreign nationals and British nationals without passports, but imposes costs on landlords, agents and tenants, too.
“In the absence of any plan to monitor its effects, the government must carry out a thorough review. Until then, any extension to other parts of the UK would be premature, dangerous, and potentially illegal.”