The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling for the introduction of a specialist new court to deal solely with housing issues to help speed up what it considers to be an existing ‘slow, complex, and underfunded’ court system.
The aim of the new court would be to enable private landlords and tenants to access justice swiftly, which means, for instance, that it does not take a landlord seeking possession against a tenant who does not pay their rent an average of 43 weeks between issue and finally obtaining possession.
The call for a new court is one of six key issues outlined in the RLA’s own manifesto ahead of the general election, which also encourages the new government to adopt positive pro-landlord tax policies that will encourage more people to invest in the private rented sector.
The RLA says it wants the new housing specialist court to be modelled on the existing Residential Property Tribunal, enabling disputes to not just to be settled quickly where possible, but also without the need for expensive lawyers and long arguments.
A statement on the RLA websites states: “We know this model works. Scotland has been using a similar specialist tribunal successfully for some time for housing disrepair matters and has now expanded it to cover possession matters as well. Ireland also has a successful specialist housing disrepair Tribunal.
“We have invested a great deal into the existing Residential Property Tribunal structure but continually limit its operations to matters involving HMO licensing.
“The RLA is calling for that Tribunal to be able to do much more and to use its substantial expertise to benefit the PRS across a wider range of issues.”