14 May 2019

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has welcomed the housing minister’s pledge to make changes to the courts to speed up the ability of landlords to repossess properties for legitimate reasons.

Data from the Ministry of Justice reveals that the average time for a private landlord to make a claim to the courts to repossess a property to it happening was 17.3 weeks in the first quarter of 2019, which is a week longer than it did in the final quarter of last year.

These figures are based on the government’s preferred median measurement.

With ministers pledged to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ repossessions the RLA is arguing that the court processes must first be fixed to ensure landlords are not unduly frustrated when wanting to reclaim their property in the face of tenants failing to pay their rents or committing anti-social behaviour, which is why the association has welcomed the minister’s vow to reform the courts to support landlords.

Writing for the RLA, Heather Wheeler said that: “landlords who experience the eviction process via the courts” often find it “unduly slow and complex”.

She pledged that “changes in the law, the court process, and resourcing will need to go hand in glove with tenancy reform, to meet these concerns.”

Wheeler acknowledged that “the vast majority of landlords provide their tenants with a decent home and good quality service” and that “few landlords evict good tenants without a sound reason”.

The MP said that following the government’s decision to get scrap Section 21, the government will ensure the changes work for both tenants and good landlords.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “The minister’s comments are welcome. As the RLA has long argued, landlords are left frustrated at almost every stage where they want to repossess property through the courts. This makes it harder to address the problem of bad tenants including those committing anti-social behaviour who cause misery for their neighbours.”

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