Court system is failing landlords wanting to evict tenants

Court system is failing landlords wanting to evict tenants

9:57 AM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago 17

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Landlords in the UK are struggling to regain their properties from tenants who have breached their tenancies or stopped paying rent, due to inefficiencies and backlogs in the court system, a leading tenant eviction specialist says.

The situation is expected to worsen with the potential abolition of Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason, under the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Recently, Property118 highlighted the case of Dr Renée Hoenderkamp, a landlord who filed an eviction notice in January 2023, and who is still waiting for a bailiff appointment after 13 months.

Her tenant has damaged her property and owes her rent.

She isn’t the only landlord struggling to get a court date – and landlords also have to face a backlog in bailiff availability.

‘Disheartening to see landlords facing such prolonged delays’

Paul Shamplina, the founder of Landlord Action, a company that helps landlords with eviction cases, said: “It’s incredibly disheartening to see landlords facing such prolonged delays in regaining possession of their properties.

“It’s a system in crisis. The inefficiencies within the court system are causing undue hardship for landlords who simply wish to exercise their legal rights.”

He says that the delays have serious consequences for landlords who have tenants causing anti-social behaviour or not paying rent.

He adds: “It is important to point out that these are also not Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions where perhaps the landlord wants to sell, they are Section 8 evictions which have been brought to court because the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement, and the judge has granted possession.

“Yet landlords are still being forced to wait months and months to get their properties back.”

Court system is failing to balance the rights of landlords and tenants

Mr Shamplina also says that the court system is failing to balance the rights of landlords and tenants, with landlords suffering from administrative shortcomings.

He adds that getting a court date is a lengthy ordeal for many landlords who want to evict their tenants.

Even after the court grants them possession, they will have to wait longer to get the sealed court order that allows them to use bailiffs.

Bailiffs won’t book an eviction date without the sealed order, slowing the process down even further and creating frustration for landlords.

Landlords will have to rely on the overloaded court system to evict

The abolition of Section 21 could make the situation even worse, as landlords will have to rely on the overloaded court system to evict tenants.

However, the government says that Section 21 won’t be abolished until the courts can handle the caseload.

Mr Shamplina said: “Surely, it’s time for substantive reforms, including the option for landlords to employ High Court Enforcement Officers in cases of significant arrears exceeding six months, mitigating the backlog and ensuring a balanced, effective resolution mechanism for both landlords and tenants.

“Despite the severity of the situation, this is still not happening frequently enough.

“Landlords deserve a judicial system that operates with transparency, accountability, and timely efficiency, yet the current situation is the most dire we’ve encountered at Landlord Action.”

For help and advice about tenant eviction and collecting arrears, then Landlord Action may be able to help:

Contact Landlord Action

Specialists in tenant eviction and debt collection. Regulated by The Law Society.


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Comments

Ray Guselli

10:11 AM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Fully agree with Paul however, where he states, the court system is failing to balance the rights of landlords and tenants, with landlords suffering from administrative shortcomings, I believe the "whole" system is failing to balance the rights of landlords and tenants.
It seems that landlords have little effective redress against tenants, especially those who are on HB or HE who are free to run up rent arrears and cause damage, the cost of which we have little if any chance of recovering as most have no assets.
I am afraid the problem extends much further than the courts and a desire by Governments to penalise the whole of the PRS because of the inappropriate behaviour of a few bad landlords, whilst overlooking that of tenants'.

I am fortunate in that my tenants are excellent but those who have been problematic have left me with no effective financial redress even through the courts and CCJ's.

TheBiggerPicture

12:02 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Ray Guselli at 08/02/2024 - 10:11
Well said Ray.

Can completely agree with what Paul sid too.
Have been waiting for almost a year in this process and still no court date.

The country is crumbling at the seams- schools, courts, nhs, police, military. All the basics falling apart, while 9 million out of work.

Vote Reform

Dylan Morris

12:44 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by TheBiggerPicture at 08/02/2024 - 12:02What are Reform’s policies with regard to landlords ?

Kat Scott

13:50 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Ray,
How did your HB tenants pass referencing/credit check? I only take tenants who can pass ref/ credit check some times this requires them to have a guarantor that works. Also with the credit check free light report you get all info you need to find the forma tenant/guarantor to get a third party order. I also ways ask for interest plus the debt as I wait a year/ two before applying. It's worth applying as the lost money added up.

Reluctant Landlord

13:50 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

I personally feel that everything is heading down the pan, the court system is just one of many...obviously we are included to regard this is a key issue as its part and parcel of running our business effectively.

I am inclined to feel that the issue is more of resource waste and misuse than always putting things down to chronic underfunding.

Too many layers of management, =- lack of clarity and accountability. Reports paid for where there is no credible reason, research to find out what? Where is the money really going? Those that are supposed to look at the accounts even when they show misuse/fraud are pushed back/ignored/silenced and those that are picked up? Nothing happens.

e.g
Local councils are supposed to balance the books on local taxpayers money and provide services. If they can't provide them then they have to cut their cloth according to their means. Look at what is really necessary first and cut out the chaff. End of. They are not there to start up their own housing companies, electric 'green' companies and invest like private companies - this is not their remit and those in charge do not have the capability to do this. They are trying to act like a private company being run by incompetent people and all the time being funded from the taxpayers purse. Where is the incentive to do it properly and to cost, if the public are funding it? Who cares???

NO personal accountability for anything is the bane of this country. It's cultural and embedded. From people fraudulently claiming benefits to backhanders at the top and every level inbetween.

Michael Booth

14:29 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Full system is geared to disrupt the landlords ability to get property back , councils effectively tell the tenants to break the law even after being to by central government to stop telling tenant to stay in situ after a s21 has been succefully applied ,charities , gove ,raynor all setting this sector for catastrophic failure .

Bernard Purcell

14:45 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

My property was illegally sublet , it took me nearly 3 years at Stratford Family Court to finally get an eviction.
I had 4 adjournments , lost paperwork by the court , endless delays.
My expenses ran in to thousands , my property was severely damaged I complained to the court but never got a reply .
Avoid these courts if at all possible
Bernard

Michael Booth

14:54 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Bernard Purcell at 08/02/2024 - 14:45
Full system is geared for the tennants rights, my experience of this is don't bother chasing rent it will cost you even more , hasfor damage to property if itsthe usual damaged doors cupboard doors kitchen doors just repair yourself then sell up or re rent.l have been in this business for 25 years and are leaving if things don't dramatically change for the better.

Ray Guselli

14:57 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Kat Scott at 08/02/2024 - 13:50Hi Kat
I have been a landlord for more than 30 years now and have never done a single credit check or sought references. All my paperwork is up to date though so if I need to repossess, I can.
I appreciate that is highly unusual and potentially risky, but I tend to judge people as I find them, assess through their Facebook pages and because of where I live and the rental market, bad tenants are often well known and have a reputation which precedes them. Looking at their friends on Facebook also provides an indication of what they are “likely” to be like or how they may behave.
Of course I have been caught out, but percentage wise I have done ok because I know other local landlords and agents are often far more diligent than I am, yet still have problems. I rarely have any periods of voids and would like to think that my method of management has been success through the continued expansion of two property companies and personally owned, from scratch.
I have recently been accepting tenants with guarantors but have only once had to call on the guarantor to pay (which they did)
What I do see however is the need to be more cautious and diligent because, if I did get a bad tenant (as I have inevitably had and which we all have) the method of dealing with them is not focused on helping the landlord, but rather, in supporting the tenant. The government is rightly focused on landlords providing good quality housing and accommodation, often at substantial cost to the landlord. We have to comply with an ever increasing raft of legislation yet, still no government has introduced any legislation which is of assistance to landlords and which might enable them to seek effective recourse from bad tenants.
Tenants are wise to the benefits to them when they have rent arrears and a ccj of an IVA, Debt Relief schemes and breathing space: all introduced by a government which has totally failed to listen to landlord concerns (in my opinion) and instead, focuses on the needs of tenants to ensure they are 100% protected at the expense of landlords.
Paying housing benefit to tenants in the guise of them learning how to budget is utter nonsense: many cannot and many do not want to budget. What was before, a means of protecting tenants from themselves by ensuring rent was paid to landlords, has fallen by the wayside in an alleged administratively better system, which is nothing more than a failed cost cutting exercise with reduced service levels….
But, apart from that they are doing great for landlords so they would have us believe..
Abolition of S21….let’s not even go there…..

A W

15:02 PM, 8th February 2024, About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Booth at 08/02/2024 - 14:29
I have the same problem with Southwark council.
The council told my tenant to stay in the house and to apply extending to stay in the property. Even the council called me to say that I have to apply for a warrant of possession if the tenant needed to get a temporary accommodation from the council.
Tenants want to have a temporary flat from the council so that they haven't gone out to search for a place for them.

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