The government is consulting on the proposal for a specialist Housing Court which, if it goes ahead, would be a “single path of redress for both landlords and tenants.”
The government says it wants views and opinions from the judiciary, landlords and tenants “to better understand and improve the experience of people using courts and tribunal services in property cases, including considering the case for a specialist Housing Court.”
It particularly wants views on the private landlord possession action process in the county court, the ‘user experience’ in both the county courts and the First-tier Tribunal for property cases, and arguments for further changes such as an extension of the remit of the property tribunal.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has this morning 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.
The Residential Landlords Association says it backs the principle of a Housing Court.