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Abandoned Tenancies - agents press Gove for court solution

Propertymark is pressing Housing Secretary Michael Gove to adopt a housing court system to solve the problem of abandoned tenancies.

The agents trade body has released a statement this week saying that it’s written to Gove - in a joint approach with other property organisations - highlighting serious concerns over “the lack of clear legislation, support and resolution for when landlords find themselves dealing with an abandoned property.”

The letter splints out that while there is provision in the Housing and Planning Act to assist on this matter, this was not enacted. 


The letter also drew on the precedent in Wales, where the Renting Homes (Wales) Act enables a landlord to terminate a contract if they believe a property has been abandoned after one month - providing they have sufficient evidence and have written to the tenant to communicate their concerns.

Currently Gove’s government’s stance across England is that landlords can only gain possession under any circumstances through the court system, which is already subject to unacceptable delays.

With the proposed abolition of Section 21, as well as a lack of clarity on how the government will prioritise possession cases, Propertymark says it’s keen to see “a pathway of dialogue and workable solutions” on how abandoned properties can be quickly brought back into circulation avoiding placing strain on an already overstretched court system. 

Tim Thomas, Propertymark Policy and Campaigns Officer, comments: “We are keen to avoid a scenario where abandoned properties are sitting empty without any robust system for quickly managing such a situation. 

“There must be recognition of this issue and an efficient resolution set down on how to bring such homes back into circulation with urgency”.

The body says it wants the UK Government to consider the proactive concept of a dedicated housing court that would operate with specialist knowledge and have the capacity to deal effectively with property related issues. 


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