Landlords insist a specialist housing court is needed

Landlord groups have called on the government to establish a dedicated specialist housing court to speed up the process of legitimate evictions.

The move comes after the Ministry of Justice published figures showing that it is now taking longer for private landlords to evict problem tenants.

The average time between a landlord making a claim to the courts to repossess a property, and it actually happening, was 17.3 weeks for the first quarter of 2019, a week longer than the last quarter of 2018.

These figures are based on the government’s preferred median measurement.

Housing Ministers have recently pledged to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ repossessions.

However, the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) is arguing that the court processes must first be fixed to ensure landlords are not unduly frustrated when wanting to reclaim their property from tenants who have failed to pay their rents or committed anti-social behaviour.

It is calling for the establishment of a properly funded, dedicated housing court to improve and speed up justice for landlords and tenants.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA said: “The courts are simply unable to cope when landlords seek to repossess property for legitimate reasons.

“Before seeking to scrap Section 21 repossessions …. the courts must first be substantially improved to speed up access to justice. That means establishing a full and proper housing court.”

The RLA is currently consulting landlords for suggestions on how the process for repossessing properties can be improved, with record numbers of landlords already responding.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law.

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