"Responsible landlords and tenants need to be confident that the courts will handle possession cases swiftly and fairly when section 21 goes. At present that is not happening"
- Ben Beadle - NRLA
According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice, it takes an average of almost 29 weeks between a private landlord making a legitimate possession claim to the courts and actually getting the property back.
The Ministry of Justice notes that: “Timeliness figures are higher than the legal guidelines.”
The NRLA argues that this is far too long, especially when tenants might be continuing to commit anti-social behaviour or failing to pay their rent over this period.
The figures also show it takes an average of more than 11 weeks between a private landlord making a repossession claim to securing an order to do so from the courts.
With the end of section 21 repossessions likely to further exacerbate pressures on the courts, the NRLA is calling for urgent action to ensure legitimate possession cases are processed far more swiftly.
Ministers need to boost staff numbers in the courts and outline clearly what their proposed digitised system for handling cases would look like.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:
“Responsible landlords and tenants need to be confident that the courts will handle possession cases swiftly and fairly when section 21 goes. At present that is not happening.
“Ministers have been warned for many years that improvements to the justice system have been needed. It is disappointing therefore that little to no action has been taken to address this so far.
“The Government needs to get on and build confidence in the ability of the courts to handle legitimate possession cases.”
Meanwhile, new data published by UK Finance suggests that the number of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears has increased by 29 per cent between the second and third quarters of the year. It warns that the impact of rising interest rates is felt especially hard in the buy-to-let market.
Ben Beadle said: “With the demand for rented housing massively outstripping supply, we need a healthy and vibrant private rented sector. Today’s figures from UK Finance are therefore extremely worrying.
“The Chancellor needs to undo the damage done by tax hikes on the sector and reinstate mortgage interest relief in full for the private rented sector.”