Plans to establish a new housing court are moving forward, with a Government consultation into plans to be held later this year.
The call for a housing court was one of the RLA’s key asks ahead of the last electionand budget, and Sajid Javid confirmed the Government planned to adopt the plans in October last year, in his former role as Communities Secretary.
The association believes the move is key to encouraging landlords to offer longer tenancies to those tenants that want them, and met with Minister for the Private Rented Sector, Heather Wheeler MP to press on the issue earlier this year.
Yesterday saw second reading debate in the House of Lords of the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff) Bill.
During the proceedings, Conservative Peer Lord Flight (Conservative) supported the plans, referencing the RLA several times.
He said: “When Sajid Javid was CLG Secretary, in his speech to the Conservative Party conference last October, he pledged to look at establishing a new housing court as called for by the Residential Landlords Association, ‘so that we can get faster, more effective justice’.
“Since then, there has been little discernible action.
“The Residential Landlords Association believes that the most efficient way of developing plans for the new court would be to build on the work of the existing First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber.”
Responding, Advocate General for Scotland, the Ministry of Justice’s spokesperson in the House of Lords, Lord Keen, told the House: “I am aware of the discussions that have taken place on this.
“Sir Geoffrey Vos recently alluded to the fact that property disputes can take place anywhere between the county court, the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber, and the High Court.
“We intend to consult later in the year, I hope, on the provision of a housing court so that this issue can be addressed.”
RLA Policy Director, David Smith welcomed the announcement.
He said: “This positive news. We called for a new housing court to speed up and improve access to justice for good tenants and landlords and we are pleased that the Government is listening.
“We look forward to examining the Government’s proposals and contributing to discussions on the way the proposed new court will operate.”
To read the full transcript of the bill click here.