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Ministry of Justice Urged to Speed Up Possession Cases

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has voiced its concerns with the Ministry of Justice over growing delays in possession cases and is pushing for a thorough overhaul of the Court service.

In an open letter, the NRLA urges Justice Ministers to initiate action and hasten the duration it takes to process cases. There’s a pressing emphasis on the prolonged periods landlords endure, often extending beyond six months, to reacquire possession of their rental properties.

A new report from the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Select Committee is cited in the letter, underlining the committee’s apprehension that an unmodified court system could potentially hamper governmental tenancy reforms.

With the Renters (Reform) Bill set for its Second Reading, the NRLA seeks explicit commitments from the Ministers. Their outlined desires encompass introducing digital methods into the court process, laying out strategies to augment the number of court personnel focused on possession cases, instituting targeted processing benchmarks, and making public the Ministry’s analysis concerning the prospective impacts of the Bill on the judicial framework.

In a direct comment on the state of affairs, NRLA Chief Executive, Ben Beadle, stated: “The court service is failing its users and has done for some time. Court wait times are a major issue for landlords – particularly those who need to repossess property from anti-social tenants or those individuals who are in extreme rent arrears.”

Beadle further delineated the expectations from the government in light of the forthcoming reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill, remarking, “Before the second reading of the Renters (Reform) Bill, the Government must set out clearly what court reform means and bring confidence to the sector.”

He added, “Section 21 was introduced to give property owners the confidence to bring their property to the market in the knowledge that they could deal swiftly with problem tenants. With its abolition planned, landlords must have the same confidence that having given their tenant a legitimate reason, their repossession claim will be processed without delay.”