Specialist ‘housing court’ proposed
Landlords and tenants are set to get faster and more effective justice around property disputes, under new government proposals.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is seeking views on a specialist housing court, which, if created, will provide a single path of redress for both landlords and tenants.
According to the MHCLG, though most landlords are responsible, ‘a number of tenants continue to live with the fear of being evicted at short notice or remain stuck in poor accommodation’.
Housing disputes, the ministry says, are held in a number of different legal settings which can make the process ‘confusing and act as a deterrent to some of the most vulnerable seeking justice’.
Announcing the proposals, housing secretary James Brokenshire said: ‘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.’
Other proposals include: reducing the need for multiple hearings in different courts; transferring certain types of housing cases between the courts and tribunal or vice-versa to ensure cases are resolved quickly; and issuing new guidance to help tenants and landlords navigate their way through the legal system.
Additionally, the government believes efforts to further streamline court processes could provide confidence for landlords to offer longer, more secure tenancies.