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Landlords must wait too long to gain possession of a property – RLA

  • 23/11/2018
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Private landlords have to wait more than five months on average to regain possession of a property when applying to the courts, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.


The Residential Landlords Association said the delay in dealing with cases means that a landlord may go without any rent or suffer damage to the property before the tenant leaves.

The wait for a property to be repossessed is 25 weeks in London compared to 18 weeks in the South West.

The RLA is warning that the government’s efforts to develop longer tenancies will fail without urgent court reforms to ensure landlords can swiftly regain possession of a property.

Foe example, in cases such as tenants failing to pay their rent, committing anti-social behaviour or damaging the property.

The RLA said that many landlords are using section 21, or ‘no explanation’ evictions, because the alternative process that requires applications to court are too long and cumbersome.

The government is currently consulting on speeding up justice in the private rented sector.

The RLA is calling for a fully-fledged and properly funded housing court to speed up access to justice for both tenants and landlords.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said that these figures show that the court system is failing to secure justice for landlords and tenants when things go wrong.

He added: “If ministers want to roll out longer tenancies landlords need the confidence that in cases where they legitimately want to repossess a property the system will respond swiftly. It is not good for either tenants or landlords to be left in a prolonged period of legal limbo.

“We hope that the government will press ahead with a properly funded and fully fledged Housing Court.”

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