Landlords struggle as possession cases pile up

Landlords struggle as possession cases pile up

0:01 AM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago 11

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Industry bodies warn that the county court system will continue to fail without proper investment.

Propertymark is calling for a dedicated housing court to tackle the never-ending backlog of possession cases.

The NRLA argues that a properly resourced court system is essential to ensuring landlords have the confidence to remain in business and continue to invest in providing good quality homes.

The warnings come as industry bodies are submitting evidence for a government consultation to examine the concerns over court capacity and resources.

Landlords face a seven month wait

According to the latest figures, landlords now face a seven-month wait to regain their property.

According to data from HM Courts and Tribunal Service, there were 7,301 possession claims made by private landlords in England and Wales in the second quarter of 2023. This represents a 16% rise from the same quarter of 2019 (pre-pandemic).

Propertymark is urging the government to introduce a specialist housing court with expert Judges who can expedite cases and create a consistent standard of judgments.

A spokesperson said: “A specialist housing court would reduce the pressure on County Courts, improve access for both landlords and tenants and speed up the processing of claims.”

Landlords need confidence in the courts

Research on the current system from Citizens Advice found just 23% of tenants feel confident applying to court.

According to the data, 54% said they did not take a claim to court because of the complexity of the process and a similar number (45%) said they were put off by the length of time involved.

The NRLA says with the abolition of Section 21, landlords need confidence in the courts when regaining possession.

A spokesperson said: “It is absolutely essential landlords can regain possession where needed. If not, then letting a property becomes a significantly riskier investment. Part of that will be making sure the courts are properly funded and reformed to ensure cases are heard quickly.”

The association is recommending changes that will increase capacity in the courts and streamline and simplify the process, calling on the government to:

  • Significantly increase the capacity of the civil courts.
  • Introduce timeframes within the Civil Procedure Rules for each stage of the possession process.
  • Provide clearer guidance and support on how to make a claim and what evidence is required at hearings.
  • Make greater use of remote hearings to save expenses, reduce costs and allow tenants access to more legal aid providers.

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11:16 AM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

If tenants are granted legal aid, I can see these timelines becoming even longer, and more costly for landlords, as solicitors for tenants spin out the process with spurious written demands for information [as they typically do].

Just before I retired in 2020, I proposed a remote software solution to the MoJ, where all but the most complex possession hearings would be handled remotely, with documents submitted online and made available in the cloud during hearings. The use of AI would provide the necessary legislative, procedural, and case law support for judges, enabling them to deliver faster and consistent outcomes. I was knocked back because the MoJ said it was already investing in new court automation systems. We are now 3 years on...

Unfortunately, we couldn't do anything about the length of time it takes bailiffs to attend...!

Seething Landlord

11:33 AM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

One of the problems is that the whole legal system is fraught with endemic delays and lawyers accept this as normal. They see no reason why landlords should be given special treatment. This was apparent from the evidence given by lawyers to the parliamentary committee considering the RRB, basically they couldn't see what landlords were complaining about.


11:59 AM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Of course they couldn't see the problem... they are paid by the hour... win or lose!

Cider Drinker

15:03 PM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

It needs to be easy to evict BAD tenants. Any suitable evidence of Section 8 Grounds should be simple for the judge to check and eviction should be immediate. Tenants need to know that if they do not pay rent, cause problems to neighbours or fail to stick to the terms of their tenancy agreement, that they will be evicted quickly and without mercy.

Tye quid pro quo would be that GOOD tenants should enjoy security of tenure if they do not break the terms of their agreement.

Michael Booth

15:45 PM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Haaa the merry go round of eviction, now Tennants get legal aid, ya couldn't make this up.

Fed Up Landlord

18:05 PM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

The judiciary are part of the woke wishy washy lefty liberal elite, indoctrinated in such ways by socialist worker tweed wrapped lecturers. "Tenants Good. Landlords Bad" they squeak with their noses in the Legal Aid trough.


22:48 PM, 20th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Booth at 20/12/2023 - 15:45
This will swell the coffers of shelter even further now that they will have their Lawyers paid from the legal aid budget.

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:07 AM, 22nd December 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Cider Drinker at 20/12/2023 - 15:03
' should ' and Reality are a Longgg way apart.

Duncan Forbes

15:37 PM, 25th December 2023, About 6 months ago

I had 10 months of hell to regain my property, back and fourth to the courts cost 0000s with B S on the tenants and the court system ,tenant went on on accord otherwise proberly would still be going on ,6 months to sell the house .Council bought it for boat persons paid the CGT tax that was in August. Never going to risk that again as courts seem to be taking longer and longer one of my fellow landords has been in and out of court for three years still has not regaine his property just wait Labour will halt all evictions if you can get out now .


15:42 PM, 25th December 2023, About 6 months ago

This is simply unacceptable. I took 15 months to evict and then 7 months to sell. £20,000+ debts and costs!

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