A housing court could be essential to the property redress
system, believes Neil Cobbold, the COO of PayProp UK.
As the Government prepares to end its call for evidence on
the need for a dedicated housing court today (22nd January 2019), a
range of industry experts have had their say on the proposal.
for evidence was launched in November last year, and has been seeking views
on whether a specialist housing court would benefit landlords, tenants and the
industry as a whole.
The proposed court would deal with property-related
disputes, including those regarding property repossessions and substandard
It would replace the current system, which requires
consumers to pursue their cases through the county courts, magistrates’ courts,
High Court or First-tier Tribunal.
One of the key criticisms of the existing system is that it
can be difficult for landlords to regain possession of their properties if
tenants are failing to pay the rent.
Landlord trade bodies have suggested that this is a barrier
to landlords offering long-term tenancies – something that the Government is
keen to introduce as a three-year minimum industry standard.
Official figures estimate that the average time taken
between a private landlord’s county court claim to possession by a bailiff is
over 16 weeks.
dedicated housing court could make it easier and quicker for landlords to
regain possession of a property via the legal system,” says Cobbold. “What’s
more, a simplified system could also make the process easier for landlords to
navigate without costly professional legal support.”
Challenging rogue landlords
of the call for evidence is to determine whether a housing court would make it
easier for tenants to seek justice against landlords providing substandard
renters may not be fully aware of the current course of action they need to
take to pursue a dispute with their landlord through the courts.
housing court could be more accessible and provide people with a single route
for redress. The Government has previously pledged to ensure all landlords are part of an approved redress
He adds: “While
this legislation is yet to be introduced, a housing court could provide tenants
with greater protection and opportunity to challenge potentially criminal
housing court could provide a range of benefits for letting agents, if disputes
between landlords and tenants are resolved quicker.
also tie in effectively with the Government’s ongoing plans to introduce a
single housing ombudsman for the sector.
concludes: “A less complicated redress system, which is solely designed to
deal with housing disputes, is in the interests of everyone in the industry.
now await the results of the call for evidence, and the subsequent Government
suggestions and analysis.”