Should there be a dedicated housing court to speed up justice for Manchester landlords and tenants?

The Residential Landlord Association (RLA) is calling for a new, properly funded housing court to make the process of obtaining justice for landlords and tenants more efficient. But should this become a reality?

One of the most off-putting factors for buy-to-let landlords, investors and prospective tenants regarding the rental sector is the process in the event of a sour ending to a tenancy; be it the tenant’s fault or indeed the landlord.

As it currently stands, obtaining justice in a court regarding a rental property is a remarkably lengthy and tedious process. With the government consulting on ending the use of Section 21 repossessions in the private rented sector; our intuition tells us the number of repossession cases going through the courts is expected to increase dramatically. 

Although the consultation commits the government to developing a simpler, faster process through the courts for repossession cases, there is concern that no detailed plans have yet been made. Therefore, in a bid to ensure efficiency over the current system prior to any changes to Section 21, the RLA have proposed the idea of a new, properly funded housing court.

It also wants this to be matched by a clear commitment to ensure that landlords have to wait no more than 10 weeks between submitting a case for a property to be repossessed to it actually happening.

The RLA reports that courts across the country are failing to follow their own rules when it comes to the speed of dealing with repossession cases, with many not “dealt with expeditiously and fairly”, in accordance with civil procedure rules. 

The rules show that from a landlord making a claim through the courts to a property actually being repossessed should be around nine weeks. The government’s own data, however, show that it is taking more than a staggering 22 weeks.

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.”

Abode are strong believers in ensuring that matters normally winding up in court cases are resolved as efficiently and amicably as possible, in the unlikely event they happen under our full management. We recognise the costs of a dedicated housing court may perhaps be outside of the government’s desired spending, however such a notion has our full backing in a bid to ensure timely solutions can be made.

For more information on how you can let your property with positive outcomes or even long-lasting tenancies, call Abode on 0161 883 2525.

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