Figures released by the Ministry of Justice, which are based on a median measurement, show that routine repossessions (i.e. when a landlord wants their property back to sell it or so they can move back in) are taking longer than ever. In the first quarter of 2019, the average wait for a repossession claim to pass through the courts was 17.3 weeks. This is one week longer than it took in Q4 of 2018.
The Residential Landlords Association says this is simply not good enough, especially with plans in the pipeline to abolish Section 21 repossessions, which landlords are supposed to use if they want a ‘no-fault’ repossession.
Courts are Overwhelmed Says RLA
The RLA is calling for the government to reconsider its plans. It says that the court system is overwhelmed and cannot cope with the number of Section 21 claims whereby landlords want to reclaim their property.
“Before seeking to scrap Section 21 repossessions Ministers urgently need to give confidence to landlords and tenants that the courts will first be substantially improved to speed up access to justice. That means establishing a full and proper housing court,” says David Smith, the policy director at the RLA.
Speeding Up the Court System
The RLA wants a dedicated housing court for landlords and tenants, which must be properly funded by the government. It believes this would speed up the system and make it easier for landlords and tenants to seek justice.
Following the announcement that the government is seeking to reform Section 21 notices, the RLA has sought feedback from landlords. It says record numbers have already responded.
The RLA will use any feedback received when it lobbies the government to ensure landlord interests are protected.