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Agents call for root and branch housing court reform

Propertymark says it hopes that a Welsh Government White Paper proposing that nine devolved housing tribunals are consolidated into a single coherent system is just he start of a more fundamental debate. 

The Commission on Justice in Wales (known as the Thomas Commission) recommends that the courts and tribunals which determine disputes in both civil and administrative law should be under one unified system in Wales.

The Thomas Commission also recognises the new system as an opportunity for tribunals to resolve disputes. 


Propertymark - in its formal response to the Welsh Government consultation - says such dispute resolution could streamline possession cases which are currently heard in County Courts in England and Wales and could rapidly decrease the waiting time for both landlords and tenants in accessing justice. 

In addition, the tribunal could hear disputes on standards, adaptations, and the variation of rent.

However, while Propertymark welcomes the opportunity to reform of the tribunal system in Wales, it insists that this should be just the start of a bigger discussion on reform and improving access to justice.

“Our long-held position is that a dedicated housing court is necessary to provide swift justice for both landlords and tenants when things go wrong - both groups are being failed by the current system” says the trade body.

“A dedicated court could build on the work of the Residential Property Tribunal in Wales, with access to the existing in-house specialists, surveyors, and legal experts. A specialist court has the potential to decrease the number of stages in the progress of a case and could more effectively allocate time. This would not only have a benefit in terms of cost-saving but would restore landlords’ confidence that they have a clear route to possession” it continues.

You can see Propertymark’s full response to the consultation here.


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