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More red tape for landlords - courts set up Review Hearings

Courts are now introducing Review Hearings to prioritise eviction cases during lockdown, adding more red tape for anxious landlords.

The purpose of the new hearings, conducted over the phone, is to determine whether the landlord’s case should proceed to a substantive hearing at a later date. 

However in order to determine this, landlords - or their solicitors - must provide a Review Bundle comprising claims form, particulars of the claim, defence, rent statements for the last two years with a running total of arrears, daily rate of rent and interest, the tenancy agreement, statements setting out previous attempts to recover arrears and the effect of Covid on the landlord.

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On top of that, they should include any additional information on the effect of Covid on the tenants and an Order from court.

The Review Bundle must be filed at court via email and a copy issued to the tenants 14 days ahead of the Review Hearing. If the bundle is not filed, cases can be struck out.

Eviction specialist consultancy Landlord Action has set up a team to handle the additional workload caused by the reviews, and founder Paul Shamplina is outspoken in his criticism of the time and cost this burden is causing landlords.

“We understand that this stage has been introduced to alleviate the current backlog of cases and assist the courts in prioritising the most urgent cases. However, it is adding a further delay for landlords, which in turn means additional costs.

“The level of work required to prepare Review Bundles is substantial and as such, Landlord Action has had to set up a whole new team dedicated to dealing specifically with the extra work that the Review Hearings process has created. 

“Whether a landlord’s case proceeds as priority to a Substantive Hearing will be determined by the evidence submitted prior to the hearing so there is no margin for error.

“We are doing everything we can to minimise this delay for landlords but it is unexpected additional work. We then have to replicate the work again for a Substantive Hearing, which is set for some time after the Review Hearing and requires attendance and representation.”

          

Shamplina does identify one positive for landlords, however.

That is, it’s possible that a settlement could be reached at Review Hearing which would prevent the case having to go to court. In addition, on a small number of Review Hearings, Landlord Action has received a possession order rather than directions for a further hearing.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Every time I read something like this it just makes me more careful who I rent to.

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    • 01 December 2020 09:31 AM

    Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
    More time. More Work. More Red Tape, More Delay, More Stress and a lot more uncessariness...!!!!!!!

    Why?

    EVERONE knows they have not paid their rent, or are anti social, or destructive. Why else would they be there?

    So get them out of my house NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Welcome back David, I see that you're still banging the same drum ?

     
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    • 01 December 2020 11:17 AM

    I will never stop.
    And why should I?

    Not so sure you are always innovative!!!!!!!!

    NO RENT = NO HOUSE
    Immediate eviction whatever the circumstances.

     
  • girish mehta

    This a scam by the government .they do not want eviction as its is bad for the votes . Only interested in saving money .it is a simple civil matter. The tenants have not paid rent and not kept their side of the deal then why do landlords have to provide these reports let the council , tenants and the so call charities file these reports and just evict them and if they overstay are the end of tenancy then double rent. No if no buts

    The government need to cough up ,,,, they have scamming working people and business and looking after their buddies in bank and under austerity . And ever increasing taxes
    Now Covid and Brexit have you to take its toll. They have ruined business and people livelihood and realised their past mistakes. They know they have ruined our future by loyalty to their parties and lies.
    That’s is why Sunak have stated that the age of austerity is over and will focus on jobs.
    Where is he going to find the money ? More taxes and scam people who have saved for their future. And propaganda to hide their mistakes and promote politics of envy and divide people by promising have not with freebies and taxing have who have built for their future by higher taxes

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    It makes no difference whether we are careful or not we are been obstructed at every level from running our business that's clear enough and doomed to fail, no LL can cope with this nonsense and well they know it so whether the Tenant is good or bad you are stuck with this and this is a big encouragement to them to be bad and backed up by Law. We are LL's and should be allowed to look after out letting business and deal with all the day to day issues keeping our properties in good nick like we always did instead of tying us to the desk like they have done already loading us with rules so now just add twice as much more and have to avail of legal back up more time, costs and damage to collapse LL's and the economy. I have been through 5 Recessions and this will be worst by a Country mile. It was not enough to make a mess with Furlough wasting Billions when it should have been a Loan instead of a Grant.

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    And again, you have to ask what is the NRLA actually doing for landlords apart from flogging their courses and other offers. Nothing is the answer, they have no voice, Shelter speaks everyone listens, NRLA don`t even comment. A pointless organisation that does nothing for professional landlords.
    Its time for every member to threaten not to renew unless they get their act together. The whole Board needs a shake up and replaced with proactive people who know the industry.

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    Paul Cunningham, I know that name from somewhere, are you a member of Eastern Landlords Assoc ?

     
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    • 01 December 2020 10:11 AM

    Simple. NOTHING.

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    I see this as a Kin to a small Block of Flats where I have one which what was originally a small issue with one Lease holder not paying the service charge and going to Court for backing which was given, (wrongly given in my view) was allowed to fester and escalate. To make long story short, we had several County Court Cases, First Tier Tribunals, 2nd Tier Tribunals, High Courts, Royal Court of Justice. I won't identify the case because I think I am not allowed. So it rambled on for years costing everyone about half a million in Courts & legals, it could easily have bought 2 Flats in the Block hands down. The worst part is it ended up a resident lease holder lost everything and couldn't take it and blew the Flat up totally while inside RIP. This case should never have seen the light of day and struck out in the first instance, this is what they are bringing in now for LL's a whole legal dysfunctional process. Congrats'.

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    You spent half a million to enforce a service charge ?

    Who is the fool ?

     
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    Sebastian it is not possible to allow anyone to default on service charges for the management company is only allowed to charge for the actual cost of maintenance. One defaulter and the books do not balance.

     
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    Sebastian

    Look in the mirror for your answer and please don't comment on things you know nothing about. Sometimes recourse to the Law is ridiculously expensive and may seem illogical, but the alternative is anarchy and allowing legal rights to be ignored.

    These litigants have my sympathy and should not be ridiculed.

    Most of your comments, on the other hand.......

     
  • Matthew Payne

    Designed simply to slow the process down, buy everyone some time. There will be no evictions before widespread vaccinations and summer weather, by which time they hope to have a plan B. Perhaps the penny has finally dropped for HMG that anyone evicted has nowhere to live - no chance of returning to the PRS, no social housing...

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Given that the NRLA can't be trusted to voice landlord's concerns, - what is the answer ?
    I suggest a Private Rented Sectors Association, which would comprise ALL the organisations representing Landlords and controlled by a Committee of representatives, so that no one 'large organisation ' has a monopoly.
    Basic composition to start with are the members of the Fair Possession Coalition, which comprises all the smaller regional landlord Associations.
    A " PRS Association "
    Views - Feedback ?

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    Seb' I am probably the fool for being a LL, or could it be a legal system that required this to happen and no other way out of it. The Lawyers and Courts making big bucks at layman expense with no other route. The case was very simple 9 of us paid the Service Charge of about £1100.00 each pa, one lease holder decided to only pay £100.00 pa and continued like this for a number of years, based on a picking on a bit in the Companies Memorandum of Articles where by it mentioned a surveyors report fair enough but there was no Surveyors report of money to pay for it, least of all someone only intent on paying £100. When the Accountant done the Accounts at year end and knew what the cost were we all paid our share except one, usually approx' £1100. each, reasonable I think to cover the grass cutting, general outside maintenance and regular Vacuuming of common parts, halls, stairs & landings. + Block Insurance, you can draw your own conclusions. The new rules coming in as stated above is the same nonsense and will keep LL's involved in Court Cases for ever, not possible to run any Business under such stress and draconian measures.

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    The Red tape above is not an option at all, its making a totally mockery of the private rented sector, is insane and I will not be doing it, and couldn't do it even if I wanted to will the best will in the World, it an absolute disgrace and an affront to justice. A business cannot operate in this environment, what other Business has to keep going to court to operate and try to run theirs / none because its not possible. I had enough of Courts having attended 31 times in last five years mainly as an interested party so I seen first hand what happens. At one stage we went to Tribunal which is supposed to be a cheap viable process to sort out your differences and reading the back of the form it said should not cost more than £500.00 or we would not have gone there. However it did not end there and continued for ever becoming a Land Mark Case, so this is how we are supposed to conduct Business running around with Court Bundles, give me a break.

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