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Crisis responds to High Court ruling against Right to Rent policy

Today (Friday 1st March 2019) the High Court has ruled that the Government’s Right to Rent policy breaches the European Convention of Human Rights and is causing discrimination.

The current ‘Right to Rent’ measure requires landlords and letting agents to check that tenants have a right to rent by checking their official documentation such as a passport or visa. If landlords or letting agents fail to carry out these checks and let to someone who does not have a right to rent, they can face criminal charges.

Responding to the ruling, Chief Executive of Crisis, Jon Sparkes said:

 

“It is fantastic news that the High Court has ruled that this discriminatory policy be reviewed, taking the vital first step needed to scraping it altogether.

“Every day, our frontline staff hear of the overwhelming difficulties faced by homeless people trying to find a tenancy in the already saturated rental market. This is made even harder if someone has to prove their immigration status, especially as official documents like passports can often be lost sleeping rough, moving from hostel to hostel, or fleeing domestic abuse – and replacements can be prohibitively expensive. And as a result of this policy, many landlords are avoiding renting to anyone they don’t believe to be British to avoid the threat of prosecution if they accidentally rent to the wrong person.

“This can’t carry on. No one deserves to face the devastation of homelessness – especially at a time when the crisis is worsening. The government must act now to end this policy and ensure that those in the most vulnerable circumstances are supported rather than pushed further to the fringes.”

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