A government consultation on establishing a new housing court has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The proposals unveiled by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire earlier this week, would see landlords and tenants receive faster and more effective justice in the event of property disputes.

The government is seeking views on a specialist housing court which would provide a single path of redress for both landlords and tenants, giving them the power to resolve the dispute.

Housing disputes are currently held in a number of different legal settings, which can often lead to confusion and act as a deterrent to some of the most vulnerable seeking justice.

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.

“The proposals announced will help ensure both tenants and landlords can access justice when they need it – creating a fair housing market that works for everyone.”

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “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.”

The RLA has been calling for changes to the current system for some time, as we reported back in February.

Richard Truman, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, said: “Any moves which push the minority of bad and unprofessional landlords out of the sector are to be welcomed, so it’s encouraging to see the government taking steps to help resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.

“By addressing these issues, landlords will be given the confidence to offer longer and more secure tenancies.”The consultation will run until January 22, 2019.