Law News

RLA: London courts need to be reformed

Andrew Truglia - January 16, 2020

Landlords in London are facing long waits for courts to issue repossession orders. The RLA says the courts are failing to cope with the demand. 

New figures published yesterday show that London landlords are facing waits of around 30 weeks on average between making a legitimate claim and courts issuing repossession orders. 

Worryingly, this figure is up from 23 weeks last year.

London has the highest waiting time in the country. The unwanted title of second place is held by the North East region, where landlords are waiting 23.5 weeks on average.

The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has warned that this will only get worse if the government goes ahead with their plans to end Section 21 evictions. Courts will need to spend more time determining the circumstances of cases and pressure on them will increase.

They also believe that good landlords will begin to disappear as word spreads on how long legitimate repossession takes. The knock-on effect could be that life is made more difficult for tenants looking for a place to live.

The RLA is calling on the Government to establish a dedicated housing court in order to improve and speed up access to justice for landlords and tenants in the minority of cases where something goes wrong. 

John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association, said:

“If landlords feel that they might have to wait forever to regain possession of their property where they have good reason, such as tenants committing anti-social behaviour or failing to pay their rent, increasing numbers are going to feel it is not worth the risk of letting the property out in the first place. This will just add to the already growing shortage of investment in rented housing which is badly needed to meet a rising demand.

“The RLA was delighted when the Government consulted on its proposal for a housing court a year ago but nothing has happened since. It needs to get on and get it set up for the benefit of landlords and tenants alike.”