Special Housing Court Fast Tracked
An industry body is demanding the government to fast track its proposed special housing court after publishing data Its findings more than suggests that London courts are simply unable to cope with the numbers of repossession cases.
It is coming up to nearly a year since the government set up its consultation on the introduction of a specialist housing court, which if auctioned will hopefully reduce the time in the ever increasing delays to resolve disputes and legal repossessions.
The industry body is demanding that the government gets on with it after having received Freedom of Information details. The report states the average time it takes a landlord to legally repossess their properties last year was 30 weeks, whereas in 2018 it was 23.
The body warns the government that the time for the eviction process (for legal reasons) will rapidly increase when and if it abolishes Section 21, as courts will be flooded with repossession cases for anti-social behaviour and rental arrears.
The body’s policy manager, said: “If landlords feel that they might have to wait forever to regain possession of their property where they have good reason, such as tenants committing anti-social behaviour or failing to pay their rent, increasing numbers are going to feel it is not worth the risk of letting the property out in the first place. This will just add to the already growing shortage of investment in rented housing which is badly needed to meet a rising demand.
“We were delighted when the government consulted on its proposal for a housing court a year ago but nothing has happened since. It needs to get on and get it set up for the benefit of landlords and tenants alike.”
However the Law Society is not backing the introduction of the housing court, as it said: “The case for a housing court has not been properly put and further evidence is needed as to why improvements within the current system will not suffice,’ said the Society. ‘Some private landlords do not understand the complexities of their case and are often reluctant to pay for legal advice. Such advice would ensure they understand the defences and counter-claims available to tenants, as well as the built-in safeguards within the legal process. However, without this knowledge, landlords often complain about perceived ‘delays’.”
In February the think tank Justice will be publishing its report on resolving housing disputes after having carried out surveys of the current procedures and taking a ‘fresh look’ at the system.