Landlords and tenants could receive faster and more effective justice in the event of property disputes under proposals unveiled by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) today.
The government has launched a consultation on establishing a new court dedicated to housing that it says would provide a single path of redress for landlords and tenants.
It says that the process can be confusing and act as a deterrent to the most vulnerable seeking justice, with housing disputes currently being held in a number of different legal settings .
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire says: “Everyone deserves to live in a safe and decent home, and this government is bringing about real change in making renting more secure.
“This is particularly important for families and vulnerable tenants who live with the fear of suddenly being forced to move, or fear eviction if they complain about problems with their home.
"It is also important for landlords who, in a minority of cases, struggle to get their property back when they have reason to do so.”
He adds: “The proposals announced today will help ensure both tenants and landlords can access justice when they need it – creating a fair housing market that works for everyone.”
Plans to establish a housing court were first announced at the Conservative Party Conference in 2017.
Confidence for landlords
The government says the proposals could also provide confidence for landlords to offer longer secure tenancies by making it easier for them to regain possession of their tenancy should they need to do so.
Other proposals include reducing the need for multiple hearings in different courts and new guidance to help tenants and landlords navigate their way through the legal system.
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The news was welcomed by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, says: “Improving and speeding up access to justice in this way would be good news for landlords and tenants.”
He adds: “It will help root out criminal landlords more quickly, give tenants better ability to enforce rights granted by new legislation on property fitness, and give greater confidence to landlords to offer longer tenancies.”