We have previously blogged about the idea of setting up a new housing court. This has already begun to work well in Scotland, where landlords are able to take action quickly and efficiently when faced with rogue tenants. According to one of the biggest-ever surveys of landlords and letting agents, that was carried out by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), it would also go down well in England and Wales.
The RLA says that just under 4 out of 5 private landlords, who haveexperience of using the courts to repossess properties, are dissatisfied with the way in which they function. Added to that, 91% of landlords support the idea of setting up a new housing court. We recently wrote a blog urging you to get behind our campaign to keep Section 21. If Section 21 is scrapped, as the Government plans, then the existing court system will become completely overloaded with repossession cases. It already takes many months to repossess a property. This is steadily getting worse, and will continue to do so if nothing is done. It is not just landlords who are unhappy with the way that the system works. Citizens Advice found that the existing elgal system is also putting tenants off from taking landlords to court. More than half of tenants surveyed said that the process is too long and over-complicated.
These problems with the court system currently stops people taking action when they are stuck with a bad landlord or with a poorly maintained property.
A properly funded and staffed housing court would invariably go a long way towards solving this problem. As the RLA has rightly stated that if the new Government decides it wants to go ahead with its proposals reagrding Section 21, “significant and bold” reforms have to be made to our court system. We say that we need to improve the court system so that it functions for everyone - and leave Section 21 alone!
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