Courts failing to follow housing case rules

Courts failing to follow housing case rules

15:59 PM, 7th October 2019, About 3 years ago 4

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Courts across the country are failing to follow their own rules when it comes to the speed of dealing with repossession cases. According to the civil procedure rules which provide a code to ensure courts deal with cases justly, the courts are expected to ensure cases are “dealt with expeditiously and fairly”.

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 statistics however show that it is taking over 22 weeks.

With the Government consulting on ending the use of Section 21 repossessions in the private rented sector the number of repossession cases going through the courts will increase substantially. Although the consultation commits the Government to developing “a simpler, faster process through the courts” for repossession cases, no detailed plans have been made.

The RLA argues that what is needed is the development of a new, properly funded housing court to speed up and improve justice for landlords and tenants. This needs 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.

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.”


  • Details of the Civil Procedure Rules can be accessed at and Click here.
  • The Ministry of Justice’s Mortgage and Landlord Possession Statistics for the second quarter of 2019 can be accessed in full at: Click here. According to annex table 6a (see), when the “Private_Landlord” tab to the right is clicked it shows that the average time in Q2 between claims and repossessions for private landlords was 22.5 weeks as measured by the mean (up from 21.6 weeks in Q1).
  • The Government’s consultation abolishing Section 21 repossessions can be accessed at: Click here.


Luke P

17:56 PM, 7th October 2019, About 3 years ago

We are regularly asked to prove there is no gas to a property when citing there is no certificate nor a requirement for one. Despite the accelerated possession forms not requesting them (just merely asking for tick-boxes to be completed) we include H2R guides & EPCs as well as proofs of service as this has been a known delaying tactic. We even photocopy the enclosed application fee cheque owing to the number of times it’s been ‘lost’. Govt. have definitely ‘had a little word’.


6:26 AM, 9th October 2019, About 3 years ago

I wouldn't be surprised, if there is we do lose S21, then when a lot of landlords issue one, they get lost or held up, until you get,
'I'm sorry, you are now passed the cut off date'
but this of course is just my blinkered view.

Peter Fredericks

13:26 PM, 13th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Sir Humphrey and his chums cannot even run the current courts system properly as things stand. The Courts admin is way out of date and falling apart at the seams. Thanks to "failing Grayling", this shambles also costs a small fortune anyway: in a proper democracy, there would be no question of pricing the citizens and their businesses out of the civil justice system. The delays in the Court process are now very extensive. It has just taken just over a year for me as at last week to sue a former tenant and receive judgment in my favour.
What hope have we got of these crass amateurs in Whitehall reforming the Courts service so that it actually works? Section 21 is an absolute disaster in the making for landlords and will give defaulting tenants, egged on as their "rights" by the likes of the CAB and Shelter, a field day at the landlord's expense. Tenants without a legal leg to stand on will continue to hold out and incur further rental losses for landlords.
Shame on the Tories as the (pretend) party of business for doing something so damaging to business ...yet again!

Michael Bond

18:57 PM, 13th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Not least of the problems is that many some District Judges do not know housing law as they never practised it when working as solicitors/barristers, so some of their judgements are crazy.

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