The vast majority of private landlords are dissatisfied with the existing courts process to repossess properties and would support an alternative arrangement, according to one of the largest ever surveys of landlords and letting agents.
Fresh research from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) reveals that 79% of private landlords with experience of using the courts to repossess properties are dissatisfied with the way they work.
The poll found 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.
It currently takes an average of over five months from a landlord applying to court for a property to be returned to them.
Separate research published by Citizens Advice shows that many tenants are also deterred by the existing legal system.
Some 54% of tenants said that the complexity of the process puts them off taking landlords to court where their landlord is failing to look after their property, while 45% of tenants said that the time involved put them off taking action through the courts.
The RLA is now calling on the government to establish a single, dedicated housing court that is properly funded and properly staffed.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Ministers are proposing some of the most far reaching changes the private rented sector has ever seen. If the new Government decides it wants to proceed with these it is vital that significant and bold reforms are made to the court system.
“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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