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There's not more to this question than is in the title, unfortunately. As there is currently no right to rent procedure outside of England and Wales, does such a question but reek of unlawful landlord discrimination?

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  • There were proposed statutory requirements/regulations to require that. I don't know if the have been implemented in Scotland at this time.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 21 at 23:51
  • To require what? RtR checks? As yet they are not in place Jul 22 at 8:43

1 Answer 1

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The official Scottish government website, under the section headed Proof of identity uses the terms "could" and "can" which, in the UK, do not impose a statutory duty or obligation unlike "must". It also confirms that:

Landlords who rent properties to tenants in England and Wales must check that a tenant has a right to rent, and live, in the UK. You don't need to do this check in Scotland. (My emboldenment)

So it seems there is no lawful reason to ask the question but asking, in and of itself, does not appear to be in breach of the Equality Act 2010. It is what the prospective landlord does with that information that may, or may not, make it so either by:

s.13 Direct discrimination

(1)A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others.

...

(5)If the protected characteristic is race, less favourable treatment includes segregating B from others.

...

Or

s.19 Indirect discrimination

(1)A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B's.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1), a provision, criterion or practice is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B's if—

  • (a)A applies, or would apply, it to persons with whom B does not share the characteristic,

  • (b)it puts, or would put, persons with whom B shares the characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with persons with whom B does not share it,

  • (c)it puts, or would put, B at that disadvantage, and

  • (d)A cannot show it to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

(3)The relevant protected characteristics are—

...

  • race

...

For completeness and clarity:

s.9 Race

(1)Race includes—

...

  • (b)nationality;

  • (c)ethnic or national origins.

...

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  • Where are the terms can and must defined? They remind me of POSIX specification Jul 22 at 8:43
  • 1
    Thanks for the clear, succinct, and well-supported answer that clarifies the point I had been uncertain about right at the beginning.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 22 at 14:26

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