Landlord News

RLA Calls for New Housing Court for Landlords and Tenants

Em Morley - April 27, 2017

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling on the next government to set up a new housing court to speed up justice for landlords and tenants.

Statistics show that it takes an average of 43 weeks for a landlord to regain possession of a property through the courts, during which time they may not receive any rent.

Tenants would also benefit from the new housing court, as they would be able to take quicker action against rogue landlords that fail to provide accommodation to legally required standards.

RLA Calls for New Housing Court for Landlords and Tenants

RLA Calls for New Housing Court for Landlords and Tenants

Freedom of Information (FOI) data obtained by the RLA last year shows that, among the 255 councils that responded, just 827 prosecutions were brought against landlords over the preceding five years following notices to improve a property being issued.

The RLA argues that establishing a new housing court would enable landlords and tenants to more swiftly access justice to uphold their contractual rights.

The Chairman of the RLA, Alan Ward, says: “The current court system is not fit for purpose. It takes too long and is too costly for landlords to repossess a property where tenants are not paying their rent, as well as for tenants to uphold their rights when faced with a landlord providing substandard housing.

“New housing courts would greatly improve the situation, enabling justice for good landlords and tenants to be provided more swiftly.

“Landlords are more likely to rent property out to tenants for longer periods if they can more easily regain possession of a home where tenants are not paying their rent or committing anti-social behaviour.”

He urges the political parties: “We call on all parties to support this common sense proposal.”

The new housing court proposal is just one of six practical policy suggestions put forward by the RLA ahead of 8th June’s snap General Election:

  1. Boost the supply of new homes by bringing unused public land and empty properties back into use for private rental homes, coupled with positive taxation policies that promote growth.
  2. Establish a new housing court to deliver quick and cost-effective justice, to help landlords and tenants enforce their rights.
  3. A fairer approach to welfare reform, giving tenants that claim Universal Credit the choice of having rent paid directly to their landlord and speeding up the claim process.
  1. Effective enforcement against rogue landlords through guaranteed long-term funding for local authorities, backed by a system of co-regulation for the majority of law-abiding landlords.
  2. Support landlords to improve energy efficiency in private rental homes, for the benefit of tenants and the environment.
  3. Create a new deposit trust for tenants, enabling them to transfer deposits seamlessly between tenancies.

These proposals form part of the RLA’s ongoing campaigning around tax, the Right to Rent scheme, rent controls and landlord licensing schemes.