Say No to increase in court fee

by Paul Shamplina

13:13 PM, 11th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Say No to increase in court fee

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Say No to increase in court fee

Last April, landlords had to endure a 150% increase on court fee rises on section 8 claims from £100 to £250, in addition to the increased placed on the Accelerated Possession fee from £175 to £280. Now the Ministry of Justice has announced plans to increase court fees again, by another £75 per claim, for the second year running. This being £325 for a Section 8 claim online and £355 for a paper based claim for Section 21.Landlord Action logo

Only recently we recommended to the Government that the Section 21 process should be an online process like Section 8. The Justin Minister, Shailesh Vara,says increasing court fees will never be popular or welcome, but more money is needed to be invested in the court services.

Here is what our Head of Legal at Landlord Action, Julie Herbert, has to say: “We feel that last year’s court fee rises were not justified, let alone the plan to increase these even further. From dealing with hundreds of cases at any one time, we are forever chasing courts for updates on possession orders, Notice of Issues or bailiff appointments. By the courts’ own admission, cases are getting overlooked, administrative errors are being made and there are simply not enough bailiffs to support the number of cases, leading to long delays. We cannot see the extra fees being paid by landlords since the last increase in April 2014 having any affect with the court administration, so struggle to see how another increase can be justified so soon.”

We employ someone full time at Landlord Action just to call the courts and chase up cases.We will be writing a submission opposing the rises. The consultation by the Ministry of Justice ends on the 27th February, it can be found here. Please assist us in fighting against the rise and file your own submission, there’s still time to defeat this.

Contact Landlord Action

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


Comments

Joe Bloggs

13:02 PM, 12th February 2015
About 4 years ago

COULD YOU PLEASE PUT A LINK TO WHERE TO SEND COMMENTS ON PROPOSALS. THE LINK JUST GOES TO THE CONSULTATION DOCUMENT. A MODEL RESPONSE WOULD ALSO BE USEFUL.

Andre Gysler

15:39 PM, 14th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Try here.

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/proposals-for-further-reforms-to-court-fees/consultation/subpage.2014-12-04.9325398673/view

This is what my response was to section 1

The current legislation requires a minimum of 2 months notice to a tenant. Then the court on average allocates a date for the hearing 6-8 weeks further on. That is after the 10 working day turnaround time the Court administration staff work to! The Court then gives the tenant up to 42 days to vacate despite having had up to 4 months by this stage. In the meantime Councils advise tenants to ignore the vacation date set by the court. The landlord then has to pay a further fee for County Court Bailiffs to enforce the order and action takes a further 4 weeks on average. During this time it is very, very common for tenants to cease payment of rent to the landlord yet the landlord still has ongoing expenses to meet like mortgage payments. It is commonplace that tenants are already in arrears before the matter comes to Court. Furthermore it is very common for tenants to refuse to provide a forwarding address for pursuing the debt (which by now includes your proposed elevated court costs) and the Court does not order that the tenant must provide this to the landlord when making the Order. Pursuit of the debt and subsequent enforcement incur yet further costs and if the tenant being evicted is at such a level of income that they do not pay court fees, the landlord has no means of regaining ANY of these costs. All this proposal does is raise the costs of the landlord regaining possession of what is legally his / hers. The proposal makes NO reference to ANY improvement of service or turnaround times by the Court staff. The service is very substandard currently and needs to offer value for money which it doesn't. It is important to take into consideration that many of the landlords taking tenants to court for possession claims are private individuals who can ill-afford to subsidise a tenant's accommodation, continue to meet ongoing financial commitments AND pay large legal costs whilst waiting an unacceptable time to regain possession of something that is already theirs! Lastly, under a Section 21 Notice, a landlord cannot pursue outstanding rent or damages, this incurs yet another application and another set of fees! Extortion! Lack of service! Lack of value for money!


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