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“Courts failing landlords and tenants”: RLA

Almost four in five private landlords are unsatisfied with their experience of using the courts to repossess properties, according to research collected by the Residential Landlords Association.

The data explains that 91 per cent of landlords would support the establishment of a dedicated housing court, which has been a central idea of proposed reforms to the private rented sector for some time.

Furthermore, on the tenant’s side of the story, research carried out by Citizens Advice shows that 54 per cent of tenants believe that the complexity of the current process puts them off taking a landlord to court, with the top reason being the time involved, at 45 per cent.

The RLA says that it is calling on the government to establish a single, dedicated housing court that is properly funded and properly staffed.

At present landlords can repossess properties using both Section 21 and Section 8, which themselves are the subject of reform plans.

The RLA has written a letter to justice secretary Robert Buckland MP outlining its fears over scrapping Section 21 and the resultant delays that will occur when a landlord wishes for a repossession.

The association’s policy director David Smith says: “Ministers are proposing some of the most far-reaching changes the private rented sector has ever seen.

“If the new government decides it wants to proceed with these it is vital that significant and bold reforms are made to the court system.

“With landlords and tenants failing to secure justice in a timely fashion when things do go wrong, anything other than wholesale changes with proper funding to support it will lead to chaos.”

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