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Forcing landlords to check the immigration status of potential tenants is discriminatory and in breach of the Human Rights Act, according to the High Court. In a recent ruling, Mr Justice Martin Spencer said the right to rent scheme did little to control immigration, and was leading to tenants being discriminated against according to their nationality or ethnicity. The scheme was introduced by the Government in 2016 in a bid to discourage illegal residence. Landlords faced the prospect of prosecution if they were found to have had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ they were letting a property to someone who did not have the right to rent in the UK. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) welcomed the ruling, which it described as a “damning critique of a flagship Government policy”. David Smith, policy director at RLA said: “We have warned all along that turning landlords into untrained and unwilling border police would lead to the exact form of discrimination the court has found.” In a recent ruling, Mr Justice Martin Spencer said the right to rent scheme did little to control immigration, and was leading to tenants being discriminated against according to their nationality or ethnicity. The scheme was introduced by the Government in 2016 in a bid to discourage illegal residence. Landlords faced the prospect of prosecution if they were found to have had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ they were letting a property to someone who did not have the right to rent in the UK. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) welcomed the ruling, which it described as a “damning critique of a flagship Government policy”. David Smith, policy director at RLA said: “We have warned all along that turning landlords into untrained and unwilling border police would lead to the exact form of discrimination the court has found.”

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