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Repossession: Courts failing landlords and tenants

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley


Landlords are now waiting longer to repossess properties for legitimate reasons, according to official data published today.

Ministry of Justice figures show the average time for a private landlord to make a claim to the courts to repossess a property to it happening, was 17.3 weeks.

The figures, which cover the first quarter of 2019, show the process is taking a week longer than it did in the final quarter of 2018. 

These figures are based on the government’s preferred median measurement.

With Ministers pledged to abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ repossessions the RLA is arguing that the court processes must first be fixed to ensure landlords are not unduly frustrated when wanting to reclaim their property in the face of tenants failing to pay their rents or committing anti-social behaviour.

It is calling for the establishment of a properly funded, dedicated housing court to improve and speed up justice for landlords and tenants where need be.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA said: “The courts are simply unable to cope when landlords seek to repossess property for legitimate reasons.

“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.”

The RLA is currently consulting the landlord community on how to ensure the process for repossessing properties can be improved, with record numbers of landlords already responding.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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