RLA calls for a new housing court to manage regulatory changes

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has voiced concerns that the current court process will not be adequate to cope with the increase in repossession cases with the government’s plans to end use of Section 21.

The RLA is calling for a new housing court, funded adequately, to cope with the proposed regulatory changes, which it believes will trigger a significant spike in the volume of repossession cases the courts will be handling.

The current government consultation does specify that a quicker, more efficient legal process should be adopted for repossessions going through the courts, but the RLA is worried that to date no clear, detailed plans have been submitted.

Currently claims are taking over twice as long

The government’s own data reveals that it is taking more than 22 weeks for a repossession claim through the current court system. This is more than double the length of time rules state of nine weeks from a landlord making a claim through the courts to a property actually being repossessed.

RLA calling for a 10-week period for settling landlord claims

The RLA believes there should be a firm undertaking that landlords should not wait longer than 10 weeks between submitting a case for a property to be repossessed to it actually happening.

According to the landlord association, courts across the country are failing to meet civil procedure rules when it comes to the timescale of handling repossession cases, with many not “dealt with expeditiously and fairly”.

The RLA says a new housing court would help speed up and improve justice for landlords and tenants.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “Whilst the government talks the talk on court reform it is failing to walk the walk. Words alone will not improve the court system for tenants or for landlords.

“What is needed is a firm plan for a fully funded housing court which reverses cuts that have made access to justice more difficult and take far too long. Tinkering with the existing system is simply not good enough. Without such fundamental changes the government’s plans to reform the way landlords can repossess properties are dead on arrival.”

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