UK Government must scrap illegal tenant immigration check law, say Scottish landlords

Scotland’s largest landlord membership organisation has called on the UK Government to scrap legislation which made landlords responsible for checking the immigration status of tenants, after the High Court in London ruled the law was in breach of human rights legislation.

The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) had previously signed a joint letter with the Scottish Government calling on the law to be scrapped.

In his Judgement in London, the Judge, Martin Spencer ruled the scheme breached the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because it would lead to discrimination against non-UK nationals and British ethnic minorities.

The verdict concluded that the so called “Right to Rent” law would cause landlords to discriminate “where otherwise they would not” which was “logical” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

John Blackwood, Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said: “SAL has been against this legislation since it was first proposed in 2015 and has actively campaigned against it in conjunction with the Scottish Government, landlord bodies and human rights groups across the UK.”

“Now that the High Court has ruled the law illegal, the UK Government must immediately take steps to abolish this law which only encouraged unfair discrimination against non-UK nationals and British ethnic minorities.”

“Landlords act in a fair and balanced manner as they should, but this law sought to undermine that approach and must now be abolished for good.”

High Court rules it illegal to roll out Right to Rent in Scotland

The High Court in London has recently ruled that the UK government’s “Right to Rent” law causes discrimination and breaches human rights legislation. It has also stated that it would be illegal to roll it out in Scotland without further evaluation. The law requires landlords to check their prospective tenants have the right to live in the UK. It was implemented in England in 2016 but has not yet been rolled out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In his judgement in London, the judge, Martin Spencer, ruled the scheme breached the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because it would lead to discrimination against non-UK nationals and British ethnic minorities. The verdict concluded that the law would cause landlords to discriminate “where otherwise they would not” which was “logical” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

SAL had previously signed a joint letter with the Scottish Government calling on the law to be scrapped and has actively campaigned against it in conjunction with the Scottish Government, landlord bodies and human rights groups across the UK. SAL is now calling on the UK government to immediately take steps to abolish the law.