The Government has launched a new consultation on a proposal to introduce a Housing Court, which could provide greater access to justice for both landlords and tenants, in the event of disputes.
The RLA has campaigned for a dedicated housing court extensively, including the proposal in its recent submission to the Autumn Budget.
The dedicated housing court would be a single path of redress for both landlords and tenants.
A welcome announcement
On Tuesday, RLA Policy Director, David Smith welcomed the announcement of the consultation. He said:
“The RLA called for a new Housing Court at the time of the last election, and in its budget submission. It therefore welcomes this important consultation.
“Improving and speeding up access to justice in this way would be good news for landlords and tenants.
“It will help root out criminal landlords more quickly, give greater confidence to landlords to offer longer tenancies.”
In the consultation document on the Government’s website, research from RLA PEARL is cited, including that the primary reason for landlords removing a tenant is due to rent arreas.
Residential Landlords Association data suggests that the primary reason for landlords
removing a tenant is rent arrears, (accounting for 62% of removed tenants).
RLA’s extensive campaigning for a dedicated Housing Court
A Housing Court is something which the RLA has campaigned for extensively in recent years.
The RLA called for a dedicated Housing Court in its recent submission ahead of the Autumn Budget, as well as in the RLA’s manifesto ahead of the 2017 General Election.
In October 2017, Sajid Javid, in his former role as Communities Secretary, confirmed that the Government planned to adopt plans for a housing court.
It was also something we pressed for in a meeting with Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP at a meeting earlier this year in February.
The consultation, launched on Tuesday, will run for ten weeks and will close on 22nd January 2019.
In the consultation documents, which can be viewed online here, James Brokenshire said:
“The proposals announced today will help ensure both tenants and landlords can access justice when they need it – creating a fair housing market that works for everyone.”
“Everyone deserves to live in a safe and decent home, and this government is bringing about real change in making renting more secure.
“This is particularly important for families and vulnerable tenants who live with the fear of suddenly being forced to move, or fear eviction if they complain about problems with their home. It is also important for landlords who, in a minority of cases, struggle to get their property back when they have reason to do so.”
The RLA will also be responding to the consultation, keep an eye out on our news pages to have a read of our official response to this. The call for evidence relating to England only.
We want to hear from you
As part of our response to the Government’s Housing Court consultation, we want to hear from you. Share your experiences with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can comment below.