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Government urged to bring forward its plans for court reform

It now takes private landlords an average of 22.5 weeks from making a claim to the courts for a property to be repossessed to it actually happening, up from 21.6 weeks since the beginning of the year, new data shows.

The figures, released yesterday, suggest that a major problem contributing to the backlog is the fact that the courts are unable to cope when landlords look to repossess properties for legitimate reasons.

John Stewart, policy manager for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), commented: “With proposals to scrap Section 21 repossessions set to lead to a significant increase in cases brought to the courts, it is now a matter of urgency that the government brings forward its plans for court reform. 


“This requires a fully funded, properly staffed, dedicated housing court that can bring rapid justice for landlords and tenants. Tinkering with the existing system will not be good enough.”

Recent research from the RLA revealed that the vast majority of private landlords are dissatisfied with the existing courts process to repossess properties and would support an alternative arrangement.

The study found that 79% of private landlords with experience of using the courts to repossess properties are dissatisfied with the way they work.

The poll revealed that 91% of landlords would support the establishment of a dedicated housing court.

In a letter to the new Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, the RLA has warned that with ministers pledged to scrap Section 21 repossessions, the courts are simply unable to cope with the increased pressures they will face.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “With landlords and tenants failing to secure justice in a timely fashion when things do go wrong, anything other than wholesale changes with proper funding to support it will lead to chaos.”

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Poll: Do you think that the courts are struggling to cope when landlords look to repossess properties for legitimate reasons?


  •  G romit

    The Government should compensate Landlords for the delays in the Court system. It should equivalent to the the lost rent for any delays over 4 weeks.


    Nice idea!

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    • 09 August 2019 16:57 PM

    I'll never understand why a LL has to take Court action for rent arrears.
    If you haven't paid for the service then out you go
    No need for Court action.
    Govt has no interest in making it easier for tenants to be booted out in rent default cases.
    The longer it can legally make LL retain rent defaulting tenants the better as far as it is concerned.
    This because it doesn't have to fund housing costs.
    LL lose £9 billion a year mostly caused by rent defaulting tenants.
    This is £9 billion the Govt DOESN'T have to resource!
    It is just a simple fact that the PRS suffers massive losses.
    I can't think of a single other industry which loses so much money to non-paying customers.
    It is simply not in the Govt best interests to give speedy possession to LL.
    If S8 remains no matter how enhanced it will take an average of 20 months to evict.
    That will be the end of the mortgaged PRS which is 50% of the market.
    Unencumbered LL are OK as they can afford to lose income as they have no mortgage to pay.
    It just means they might miss out on a holiday..........big deal!
    Mortgaged LL however are in a whole world of hurt.
    It just wouldn't be viable to remain a mortgaged LL.
    I predict that Govt will do nothing with the S8 process.
    So LL will have to endure even longer court processes as there simply aren't enough Courts and Judges to administer all the S8 claims
    It was bad enough with S21.
    I can see lots of LL jacking up rents via S13 to get rid of tenants using S21 before it is abolished and then going for better quality tenants.
    The last thing the Govt will be doing is to invest in facilities which gives LL easier eviction
    Just never gonna happen!
    LL are deluding themselves if they believe Govt will adjust the S8 process to be similar to S21.


    Sadly, I have a feeling you’re right.


    Another good example of the Legal system protecting those in the wrong and fingers up to the working honest people who play by the rules.

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    The only Court Reform we need is to scrap Shelters De-Regulation Act which the only purpose ever was to undermine Section 21
    We now have Tenants claiming property damage when there is not & will always get their side taken in court / can’t loose, it’s all too easy for them to make a place shabby. Just restore Section 21 and stop meddling. We shouldn’t need a Court Order in the first place, they don’t need a Court Order to take up Residence. Return the process to a Civil matter & not treat all LL as Criminals like Councils are doing now while Consultation themselves after getting money from a big fine, this is conflict of interest, the Council prosecutor shouldn’t be the beneficiary of the fine.

  • icon

    The idea of a fully funded Court System is laughably, only the LL’s ever fund anything. We have funded all the add on requirements since 2006 at least plus funded thousands of high paid jobs for Regulators to torture us. In early 2000 the Gov’ made one big swoop & took complete control of all private letting, we weren’t even told not alone asked now what kind of Democracy is that. Fully funded my foot more cost for LL’s for sure, obviously it’s all getting worse, with S21 some Tenants would leave with correct notice as per Tenancy but now it seems to me they want to make termination of any Tenancy Court Compulsory, this is a big Recession / currently can’t sell or Rent, well done keep going.


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