Latest Public Sector News

14.11.18

Ministers unveil new housing court proposals to speed up landlord and tenant justice

James Brokenshire has unveiled proposals for a new ‘housing court’ to enable landlords and tenants to receive faster and more effective justice in settling property disputes.

The designated court, according to the communities secretary, will be “particularly important” for families and vulnerable tenants “who live with the fear of suddenly being forced to move.”

The government will seek views on the specialist housing court which would create a single path for redress for both landlords and tenants, meaning both “have the security of knowing they have somewhere to go seek justice, with the power to resolve the dispute.”

It comes after the previous communities secretary Sajid Javid announced at the 2017 Conservative Party conference that the government would try to deliver more effective justice.

The government says that whilst the majority of landlords are responsible owners, a number of tenants continue to live with the fear of being evicted at short notice or remain stuck in poor accommodation.

With housing disputes held in a number of different legal settings, it says the process can be confusing and “act as a deterrent to some of the most vulnerable seeking justice.”

Brokenshire said: “Everyone deserves to live in a safe and decent home, and this government is bringing about real change in making renting more secure.

“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.

“The proposals announced today will help ensure both tenants and landlords can access justice when they need it – creating a fair housing market that works for everyone.”

Other proposals include reducing the need for multiple hearings in different courts and transferring certain types of housing cases between the courts and tribunal to ensure cases are resolved quickly.

This is part of the £1bn Reform Programme, which will “build a justice system that is fair, straightforward and accessible to all.”

Image credit - Victora Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

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