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Access to justice for landlords and good tenants moves closer

Friday 22 June 2018

Plans to set up a new housing court that will speed up and improve access to justice for good tenants and landlords have moved a step closer. 

A Government consultation will be held later this year, it was announced this week, after Sajid Javid confirmed the Government aimed to adopt the plans in October last year, in his former role as Communities Secretary.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA ) began calling for a new housing court ahead of the last election and budget, and believes the move will encourage landlords to offer longer tenancies to those tenants that want them.

This week saw the second reading debate in the House of Lords of the Courts and Tribunals (Judiciary and Functions of Staff ) Bill.

During the proceedings, Conservative Peer Lord Flight (Conservative) supported the plans and said: “When Sajid Javid was CLG Secretary, in his speech to the Conservative Party conference last October, he pledged to look at establishing a new housing court as called for by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), ‘so that we can get faster, more effective justice’.

“Since then, there has been little discernible action.

“The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) believes that the most efficient way of developing plans for the new court would be to build on the work of the existing First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber.”

Responding, Advocate General for Scotland, the Ministry of Justice’s spokesperson in the House of Lords, Lord Keen, told the House: “I am aware of the discussions that have taken place on this.

“Sir Geoffrey Vos recently alluded to the fact that property disputes can take place anywhere between the county court, the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber, and the High Court.

“We intend to consult later in the year, I hope, on the provision of a housing court so that this issue can be addressed.”

Residential Landlord Association’s (RLA) Policy Director, David Smith said: “This positive news. We called for a new housing court to speed up and improve access to justice for good tenants and landlords and we are pleased that the Government is listening.

“We look forward to examining the Government’s proposals and contributing to discussions on the way the proposed new court will operate.”

 

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