The UK government has been told to freeze the roll-out of its controversial ‘right to rent’ scheme in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within 14 days or face a legal challenge to the policy. The scheme is already running in England.
Immigration advice charity JCWI, which fired the warning shot at the government, found evidence that racial discrimination is likely to have occurred as a result of the scheme following its introduction across England last year.
The report, backed by the Residential Landlords Association, also found no evidence the scheme was achieving its stated aim of encouraging irregular migrants to leave the UK and threw into doubt its value for money.
- 51% of landlords surveyed said that the scheme would make them less likely to consider letting to foreign nationals
- 42% of landlords stated that they were less likely to rent to someone without a British passport as a result of the scheme. This rose to 48% when explicitly asked to consider the impact of the criminal sanction.
- An enquiry from a British Black Minority Ethnic (BME) tenant without a passport was ignored or turned down by 58% of landlords, in a mystery shopping exercise.
The charity is using the legal crowdfunding site CrowdJustice to meet the costs of preparing and pursuing the legal challenge.