Agents have under three weeks left to respond to the government’s proposals to introduce a Housing Court to settle disputes in the private rental sector.
The government says the court - long called for by some within the industry but only announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in November - will replace the current system that involves multiple cases in multiple institutions such as the County Court, Tribunals, Magistrates and High courts.
The MHCLG has issued a Call for Evidence - its name for the formal consultation period - seeking views on whether the proposed new House Court would be better than the current systems, or whether existing demarcation between types of court should be pursued instead in a bid to make it simpler for agents, landlords and tenants to bring or fight cases.
This Call for Evidence closes on January 22.
Housing Secretary James Brokenshire says: “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.”
ARLA has backed the proposal with chief executive David Cox saying: “We have long urged Government to take an holistic approach to the laws governing the private rented sector, and are optimistic that the announcement is an acknowledgement of the necessity for this approach … The creation of a Housing Court would be a huge leap forward for landlords, tenants and agents alike, and have a wholly positive impact on the sector.”
Most landlord bodies also welcomed the initiative.
You can respond online here.