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Graham Awards


Courts Crisis - they’re just not ready for the end of Section 21

New data shows it takes over half a year for courts to process legitimate possession claims made by private landlords.

According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice, it takes an average of almost 29 weeks between a private landlord making a legitimate possession claim to the courts and actually getting the property back, with the Ministry of Justice noting; 'Timeliness figures are higher than the legal guidelines'.

The National Residential Landlords Association argues this wait is far too long, especially when tenants might be continuing to commit anti-social behaviour or failing to pay their rent over this period.


The figures also show it takes an average of more than 11 weeks between a private landlord making a repossession claim to them securing an order to do so from the courts.

With the end of section 21 repossessions likely to further exacerbate pressures on the courts, the NRLA is calling for urgent action to ensure legitimate possession cases are processed far more swiftly.

It says there is a need to boost staff numbers in the courts and outline clearly what their proposed digitised system for handling cases would look like.

Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, says: "Responsible landlords and tenants need to be confident that the courts will handle possession cases swiftly and fairly when section 21 goes. At present that is not happening.

"Ministers have been warned for many years that improvements to the justice system have been needed. It is disappointing therefore that little to no action has been taken to address this so far.

"The Government needs to get on and build confidence in the ability of the courts to handle legitimate possession cases.” 

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    Not if your Tommy Robinson.!


    Agreed. They're very quick to imprison truthful patriots like Tommy Robinson.

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    More rubbish why are you telling us about Court delays when its the establishment is the problem. Telling Tenants not to abide by the terms of their Contracts. They take the Property for a period signed up to that, then near end of Contract the landlord gives the 2 months required notice, end of, what’s wrong with that but no you have to bring Anti-Social behaviour into it, about if Rent is paid and how the neighbours might feel. Nothing whatsoever to do with any of this its end of Contract unless extended by mutual consent of both parties (not one party).
    Now the Establishment / the Council’s are implicit in this telling Telling Tenants to Breach the Terms of Their Contracts and not vacant but wait for an eventual Court Eviction Order that’s the delay, that is the delay and that’s why Courts are chocker. This is the main cause of Council having to house so many. When they have waited so long and been through the Court System but now they have a Court Order in their hand of course they are going to arrive at Civic Centre to be housed what did you expect.
    Otherwise they may well have continued Renting from the same landlord or another landlord but now they are entitled to free or subsidised housing from the Council at tax payers expense. The Council made a rod for their own back. So the reality is the Council’s wants rid of Section.21 for this reason and pretend its bad landlords. Notably this Requirement is excluded from Section 8, there you have it no need to get rid of S.21 just a minor amendment to relieve the Council’s of the duty to rehoused everyone evicted. Heavens knows you have made plenty amendments to S.21 over the years, even Shelter made amendments to it and they house no one.


    Its not the Establishment who put the boot in, its the woke left-wing do-gooders.

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    I am not sure how much help digitising the court system will be. I recently discovered that it is not possible to do a digital application for section 8 on the grounds of non-payment of rent if there are joint landlords! How ridiculous is that?

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Emily you are so right, well documented on here about trying to get possession back of my property. the online service does not work and is not well laid out. There is nothing on there saying you have to appear in person so online claims is not online. Send any documents that are relevant and they do not look at them. That one cost me 13k to get back.

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    This will take a long long time to implement it, as renters reform becomes law, even more so as Landlords use S21 to evict, further clogging up the court system.

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    All of it is broken, Michael makes some very good observations to which , in my view, he is on the right track.
    There is no mention of the delay of bailiffs and how effective these bailiffs are at removing a tenant in a timely manner.
    Lastly, too many Governments focus on bringing in more laws to fix the problem. Implement the existing laws properly . Do the hard work not the easy option.

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    The courts will never be improved to the point that you could abolish S21 without significant risk to landlords. They will have the choice of either quietly dropping the proposal or lying about / exaggerating improvements to allow them to get the activists off their backs.

    It’s clear to me - you get rid of S21 - you will see further significant rental stock shortages and a significant proportion of renters will have no hope of securing a place. Without S21, but with an over supply of renters - I would be offering a property to only the most reliable tenants, with the best credit histories and a good quality guarantor - and there’d be enough applicants to easily be able to require all that.

    Getting rid of S21 will benefit the most toxic of tenants but will significantly damage the vast majority of honest renters who are fair and responsible and just want a reasonably priced place to live.


    Spot on! But we know that "face saving" by both this government and the next Labour gov means fixed term is going to end.. Possibly, we could argue that one assured short hold per tax payer might provide a more flexible PRS for niche areas.. Eg people on internships who will find it hard to obtain a tenancy for life unless they have rich guarantors... Landlordswith additional properties would have to have assured tenancies.. A sensible compromise that won't come about.. 😒

  • Nic  Kaz

    PRS grew when - and the clue is in the name - when SHORThold Assured tenancies were offered as a flexible way for landlords to provide accommodation, on the understanding that tenancies were let for a limited time only - renewable if all parties agreed. Courts shouldn't even be involved in the end of a contract which both sides signed up to at the start. What a mess this is - tenants facing fewer homes with rocketing rents due to a shrinking market and landlords leaving because it’s scary to have your life savings at risk due to arbitrary government/court/council u-turns.

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    23k arrears and 1.5 years living for free.
    1 year & 1 month to get a Possession Order on a Section 8,
    without a Defence or Counterclaim being completed.
    (we couldn't do a Section 21)
    After 2 months waiting for Bailiffs,
    Judge suddenly gave her 3.5 more months to a hearing
    where she can ask to start from the
    begining with her army of free representation,
    because she is now 'Obese', 'Depressed' &
    couldn't complete a defence in the year they gave her,
    because she suddenly 'Cannot Understand English' enough.
    Gave her the Section 21 she seeked to get a free 'property for life' and leave,
    which is all she says she wants since arriving and we hope she gets it.
    (along with bringing her elderly Mum over, to get one, next)
    Anything to get her out and get in to my house,
    having been refused access for 2 years now.
    NEVER BE A LANDLORD... it's gonna get far far worst

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    Mr Gove now knows full well that without a timely and fair procedure for eviction after the Renters Reform Bill is enacted, the more Landlords will sell up and put their money into bonds, etc., with a guaranteed higher rate of return than renting out property. It's entirely up to the government whether they want a private rental sector. My opinion is the government is desperate to keep private landlords to reduce the financial burden on Councils (with a fair proportion of them already nearing bankruptcy and issuing Section 114 notices) And here's the rub - the stark reality of business I'm afraid! - the more Councils are seen to fine and penalise landlords, the more they will drift away from taking on council-paid tenants.


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