Housing Court Could Improve Dispute Resolution Times

As the Tenants Fees Bill made its way through Parliament in 2018, the government also proposed a housing court specializing in housing disputes. It is thought that the court would focus on a myriad of issues from repossessions through to rental issues like rent arrear problems or unacceptable standards of rental property.

In November, a call for evidence from experts was requested by the government and yesterday the call for evidence was heard.

It is hoped that the new court will ensure that the swifter and more efficient process will mean an improved housing market for all major stakeholders.

Whilst recent governmental amendments have looked to increase the rights of tenants, it is thought that a streamlined court, focused specifically on housing issues, could help landlords in need.

Currently, official figures have claimed that it takes over 16 weeks for a private landlord to reclaim possession of a property from a tenant that is failing to pay their rent. It is hoped that the new system will significantly reduce this time.

Neil Cobbold, chief operating officer of PayProp UK, says: “A dedicated housing court could make it easier and quicker for landlords to regain possession of a property via the legal system. What’s more, a simplified system could also make the process easier for landlords to navigate without costly professional legal support.

“Many renters may not be fully aware of the current course of action they need to take to pursue a dispute with their landlord through the courts. A Housing Court could be more accessible and provide people with a single route for redress. The government has previously pledged to ensure all landlords are part of an approved redress scheme.

“While this legislation is yet to be introduced, a Housing Court could provide tenants with greater protection and opportunity to challenge potentially criminal landlords.

“A less complicated redress system which is solely designed to deal with housing disputes is in the interests of everyone in the industry. We now await the results of the Call for Evidence and the subsequent government suggestions and analysis.”

Do you think a housing court will help create a more efficient and fairer housing redress system?

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