Figures reveal 5 months average wait for landlords to regain property

Hand holding house keys on keyringNew figures from the Ministry of Justice reveal that private landlords in the UK face an average wait of at least 5 months to regain possession of a property once they have applied to the courts.

An example where a landlord may need to apply to the courts in order to successfully regain possession of a property may be if their tenants display anti-social behaviour and refuse to leave. This can leave the landlord in a tricky situation that can take a long time to resolve through the court system.

Landlords suffering without rent

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have responded to the figures by highlighting that these long delays in dealing with cases result in landlords often going without rent for a substantial amount of time, and in some cases, they suffer damage to the property before the tenant is legally forced to vacate.

The government responded to a written question tabled by Keith Hollinrake MP by clarifying that the average time it takes for a landlord to repossess a property was 22 weeks back in 2017, which was a considerable increase on the 16.1 weeks it had initially quoted using a less common calculation of the average. It's worth noting that there are regional differences that need to be taken into account, as where the property is located appears to make a difference. The wait for a property to be repossessed in London is reported as 25 weeks, whereas the South West has an average wait of 18 weeks.

RLA warn government over longer tenancies

The RLA have now raised their concern and are warning the government that their planned efforts to develop longer tenancies for tenants will fail if urgent court reforms aren’t put in place to ensure landlords can quickly regain possession of a property in certain situations, such as tenants failing to pay their rent, displaying anti-social behaviour or by causing damage to the property.

The RLA also say that many landlords are serving section 21 notices to tenants, or ‘no explanation’ evictions, due to the alternative process that requires an application to the courts simply taking too long. The government are consulting in attempt to improve the process of justice in the private rented sector, and the RLA are calling for a fully-fledged and properly funded housing court to speed up access to justice and to meet the expectations of both landlords and tenants.

Current court system failing to secure justice

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, says that these latest figures show that the current court system is failing to secure justice for landlords and tenants when things go wrong. He says that if the government hopes to introduce longer tenancies for tenants, then landlords must be put in a position where they have confidence in the court system and are able to quickly regain possession of a property if a legitimate case is put forward.

Smith goes on to say that it’s not good for either tenants or landlords to be left in this prolonged period of legal limbo, and the RLA hope that the government press ahead with a properly funded housing court.

Are you a landlord in Cardiff? If so, our dedicated team here at CPS Homes have the expertise to help you source the perfect tenants. We also offer a range of management services, so get in touch with us today to discuss more. Call us on 02920 668585, e-mail or pop into one of our three Cardiff branches.

09 January 2019


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