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Letting agents call for dedicated Housing Court to avoid evictions ‘catastrophe’

ARLA Propertymark says Count Count hearings are taking too long, undermining landlord confidence in the private rental sector.

Nigel Lewis

Letting agents have called on the government to create a dedicated Housing Court system within England and Wales to prevent a ‘catastrophic’ situation when ‘no fault’ Section 21 notice evictions are abolished.

A Housing Court, which has been in the offing since Ministers completed a consultation on the idea three years ago, is often presented as a key solution to end the long waits landlords and their letting agents must endure when evicting tenants.

Agent trade body Propertymark has used the Law Commission’s latest reform proposal programme to call for a new system of dedicated courts, which would replace the current County Court system.

It says the current system is in need of urgent reform because, even before Covid struck, the time taken from claim to repossession was getting longer and longer – reaching on average 21 weeks.

And Propertymark claims that when as expected Section 21 notice evictions are abolished next year the possession system will be thrown in a ‘catastrophic’ situation.

right to rentTimothy Douglas (pictured), Propertymark Policy and Campaigns Manager, says: “The current backlog of cases shows we desperately need to see a change in the way PRS issues are handled.

“Our members are seeing a lack of private rented supply and failure to reform the court system is likely to result in a lack of confidence for private landlords, ultimately leading to a further loss of investment in an already highly penalised section of the housing system.

“A dedicated housing court would provide faster, less costly resolutions for tenants and landlords.”

Propertymark will hear if it’s proposal is adopted by the Law Mission next year.

August 17, 2021

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