RLA calls for Housing Court to replace ‘broken’ disputes system


A leading industry body says it is time for a Housing Court system to replace the current ‘broken’ process around property disputes that frustrates landlords and tenants alike.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has submitted findings from its members to the government consultation ‘Considering the case for a Housing Court’, which closed a few days ago.

The RLA told the government that its members are “universally dissatisfied” with the possession process, with one saying it took four years to regain their home and that they lost £10,000 in trying to do so.

Legal process ‘lengthy and unsatisfactory’

Housing cases are currently heard in a variety of courts – county, first-tier Tribunals, magistrates or even the High Court. It’s a confusing situation that adds time and effort to a process that landlords and tenants can find stressful. The RLA says it takes landlords an average of 22 weeks to take possession of their property if a tenant is not paying their rent while the Ministry of Justice has found that, on average, a successful possession case takes 18 weeks.

Either timeframe is not good for a landlord, and their feelings at the current situation are encapsulated in the RLA finding that 91% support the creation of a specialist ‘housing court’.

County Court fees are felt to be too high, so the RLA’s solution is to privatise the County Court bailiff. This, they feel, would improve the service by having rival companies compete for work.

“The court system as we know it is broken. Slow, complex, underfunded,” said RLA Policy Manager John Stewart in a recent blog.

“The current situation is neither sustainable or acceptable and is what led the RLA to campaign for reform, demanding a specialist housing court and tribunal service in our 2017 election manifesto.”

The RLA survey saw responses from 1,750 of its members, and here is a snapshot of some of the comments submitted to the government consultation.

  • “Complicated, very costly, the period from start to finish can take up to 6 months for final eviction.”
  • “Court overwhelmed with applications bailiffs too busy.”
  • “Absolutely appalling. Extremely stressful. The process takes far too long and inevitably the tenant stops paying any rent as soon as they receive the notification.”

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free

Legal scales and a hammer yesterday

RLA calls for Housing Court to replace ‘broken’ disputes system


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.