Concerns about how long it takes to evict a tenant have prompted calls for a new court to be established that deals only with housing issues.
A new court dedicated to housing issues could speed up the process dramatically, the Residential Landlords Association has suggested.
It claims that the new housing courts would work for both landlords and tenants. This is because it would enable both parties to move more swiftly towards upholding their contractual rights - be it in terms of a landlord regaining possession of a property or a tenant taking action against landlords who break the law by failing to provide accommodation that matches the legally required standard.
ARLA Propertymark is another organisation supporting the calls, saying it would like to see landlord and tenant possession claims taken out of the county Court arena and moved into a specialist housing tribunal.
This would see judges hearing more court cases a day, which would speed up the whole repossession process and provide more consistency in judgements.
David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, said: “This would vastly improve the process and encourage more landlords to offer longer-term tenancies. We urge the UK Government to follow this sensible and logical approach to landlord possession claims.”
RLA Chairman, Alan Ward, added: “The current court system is not fit for purpose. It takes too long and is too costly for landlords to repossess a property where tenants are not paying their rent, as well as for tenants to uphold their rights when faced with a landlord providing sub-standard housing.
Ward believes new housing courts would greatly improve the situation, enabling justice for good landlords and tenants to be provided more swiftly.
“Landlords are more likely to rent property out to tenants for longer periods if they can more easily regain possession of a home where tenants are not paying their rent or committing anti-social behaviour.” Ward concluded.
The housing white paper released earlier this year pushed for landlords to offer ‘family friendly’ longer term tenancies. A new housing court would be a good first step for getting landlords on board with the idea.
It typically takes an average of 43 weeks for a landlord to regain possession of a property through the courts - and during this time, landlords may not receive any rent.
The length of the process largely due to how long it takes to obtain a court hearing amid a the huge backlog of cases at county courts in some parts of the country.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice revealed that repossessions for landlords typically took 43 weeks.
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