London courts are failing to cope with the volume of landlord repossession cases according to a trade body.
New figures show the average length of time from a claim from a landlord in London to a court issuing an order for a property to be repossessed for legitimate reasons is 30 weeks.
This is up from 23 weeks just a year earlier.
Landlords in London have the longest wait in the country followed in second place by those in the North East who have to wait an average of 23.5 weeks.
The Residential Landlords Association is warning that without substantial reform and greater funding for the courts the time taken to process cases will only get worse as ministers prepare to end Section 21, ‘no explanation’ repossessions.
The RLA insists this will lead to much greater pressure on the courts to decide upon legitimate repossession cases such as in instances of tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.
The RLA is calling on the government to establish a dedicated housing court in order to improve and speed up access to justice for landlords and tenants in the minority of cases where something goes wrong.
RLA policy manager John Stewart says: “If landlords feel that they might have to wait forever to regain possession of their property where they have good reason, such as tenants committing anti-social behaviour or failing to pay their rent, increasing numbers are going to feel it is not worth the risk of letting the property out in the first place.
“This will just add to the already growing shortage of investment in rented housing which is badly needed to meet a rising demand.
“The RLA was delighted when the government consulted on its proposal for a housing court a year ago but nothing has happened since. It needs to get on and get it set up for the benefit of landlords and tenants alike.”