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The Civil Justice Council doesn’t support plans for a housing court

The Civil Justice Council has said it cannot support government plans for a specialist housing court, deeming it unnecessary. 

Responding to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s consultation, which sought views and opinions from a variety of organisations and individuals including the judiciary, landlords and tenants, to help the government to better understand and improve the experience of people using courts and tribunal services in property cases, the influential body said that it cannot support the case for a specialist Housing Court.

Launching the call for evidence last year, communities secretary James Brokenshire said the proposals would help tenants and landlords access justice when they need it and create a fair housing market.


But The Civil Justice Council, which is led by Sir Terence Etherton, said the money would be better spent elsewhere rather than on a court designed to provide a single path of redress for landlords and tenants.

The Civil Justice Council argues that existing delays generally exist are due to a lack of resources in the court system and a lack of bailiffs, rather than any lack of knowledge among judges or the courts they sit in.

It added that delays also occur in part due to errors by landlords and agents and a lack of knowledge of the technical requirements when granting assured shorthold tenancies, and that newly-created housing court would not change that.

The Civil Justice Council’s response stated: ‘The Civil Justice Council would not support a major redesign of and/or transfer of cases within the courts and tribunal services for housing cases at this time,’ said the response.

‘This is particularly so at a time when the court reform programme and the increasing digitalisation of procedures within the courts and tribunal service is yet to be completed or evaluated.’

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Poll: Would you like to see the introduction of a housing court?


  • Bill Wood

    Hear hear. The lack of resources in the Court system is a problem, and adding another 'type' of Court, which may very well not have sufficient resources either, will not be helpful.

  • Andrew Hill

    Housing court isn't needed at all if landlords are forced to join redress schemes.

    Without redress scheme, housing court is needed.


    What's the Redress Scheme got to do with the Court System? You can't use ANY redress scheme to evict a non paying or anti-social tenant !!

  • icon
    • 28 January 2019 10:59 AM

    The County Court system will NEVER be adequately funded.
    It took me 10 months to enforce one eviction.
    In Australia if a tenant defaults on rent the police can boot that tenant out 14 days after the rent default if rent not up todate.
    Consequently they don't have a clogged up legal system for evictions. Oh! And they don't have many tenants who have to be booted out by police after defaulting on rent.
    They tend to leave sharpish if they aren't going to pay the rent.........................funny that!!??
    The Court process will never be improved.
    All court processes are slow.
    Courts can't be blamed if they are used by the many needing them.
    The simplest way to unclog the court process for eviction for rent default ONLY is to adopt the Oz process.
    Magically overnight you would see a massive drop in eviction cases for rent default.
    Funny that!!!
    Keep the eviction process for all other reasons.
    Just for rent default allow police to remove the tenant 14 days after first rent default if rent not caught up on.
    Few LL would enforce this situation but it would certainly concentrate the minds of those who provide HB and for dodgy tenants who would now not contemplate ripping off the LL due to thay 14 day window which once expired could see them booted out.

    Most LL have to evict for rent default and the current dysfunctional court process facilitates tenants remaining for extensive periods without being required to pay rent.

    Courts are simply overwhelmed with this sort of case and no amount of money will ever resolve the fundamental issue of the defective eviction process.

    The only way a LL can properly protect themselves from rent defaulting tenants is to have RGI.
    Trouble is very few tenants qualify for RGI.
    The rent default problems are never mentioned when bigging up how wonderful BTL is.

    Believe me had I been aware of how the eviction process worked or rather didn't work I doubt I would have bothered being a LL or if I had then I would have reduced the number of properties and ensured I invested in areas where tenants could easily qualify for RGI.
    Rent defaulting tenants have nearly bankrupted me about 5 times now.
    It simply is too risky without RGI unless you have very deep pockets to dubsidise a dysfunctional court eviction process.
    So anything that might reduce the delay to removing a tenant would be welcome.

  • icon

    Any 'new' system ( court, call it Specialist Housing court or whatever you wish ) is only going to benefit ONE particular side or party to a dispute - It shouldn't take experienced Landlord long to work out who that will be !
    What legislation, provision or steps have been taken in last 10 years to specifically assist Landlords distinctly -
    Answers on a postcard, no - Postage stamp rather.
    Fact of the mater, is that ;
    There are more Tenant voters than Landlords, the pressure groups such as Shelter, allegedly a charity that the Govt already fund - together with others, campaign for greater provisions for the 10% and increasing number of Tenants in Rent Arrears.
    Simply put, The country can't afford to House its population, so is getting the Private rented sector to do so and carry the burden of costs / default, with increasing shortfalls in Housing benefit - which attract Govt puppets - Shelter, to claim Discrimination, or the other MHCLG wing to bring in poorly and detrimentally drafted pieces of legislation that hamper Landlords recovery of their properties in Possession proceedings.


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