Landlord Court Repossessions Exceed 30 Weeks

A recent freedom of information request suggests that the time it takes to evict a troublesome tenant through complete possession action increased by a third (31%) in the third quarter of 2019.

Having confirmed their intention of abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions in the recent Queen’s Speech, the government will need to reassure landlords that the scrapping of section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions will not impact on their right to evict difficult tenants.

Unfortunately, a recent freedom of information request obtained by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) suggests that wait times for enforcement in London now exceed 30 weeks.

This represents a huge jump from the 23 weeks recorded in 2018.

The RLA is warning that unless the government ‘substantially’ increase the amount of funding the courts receive, the time it takes to process cases will also rise.

They have also suggested that these pressures may influence landlords to avoid London-based property which will put undue stress on the current rental system and result in reduced stock and higher rents.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said:

“If landlords feel that they might have to wait forever to regain possession of their property where they have good reason, such as tenants committing anti-social behaviour or failing to pay their rent, increasing numbers are going to feel it is not worth the risk of letting the property out in the first place. This will just add to the already growing shortage of investment in rented housing which is badly needed to meet a rising demand.

“The RLA was delighted when the Government consulted on its proposal for a housing court a year ago but nothing has happened since. It needs to get on and get it set up for the benefit of landlords and tenants alike.”

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