Specialist Housing Court to be introduced to speed up landlord and tenant disputes

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The proposed specialist Housing Court will provide greater access to justice for both landlords and tenants in the event of disputes, the Government has revealed.

In a recent post online, the Ministry of Housing has called for evidence on new plans designed to “build a fairer housing market that works for everyone”.

The measures include a new specialist Housing Court, which the Government hopes will make housing disputes simpler to resolve and encourage victims of such disputes to seek justice.

The call for evidence is also seeking views on reducing the need for multiple hearings in different courts. It will do so by transferring certain types of housing cases between the courts or tribunal to “ensure cases are resolved quickly” and “issuing new guidance to help tenants and landlords navigate their way through the legal system”.

The Government said these changes could “provide confidence” for landlords to offer longer, more secure tenancies “by making it easier for responsible landlords” to regain possession of their tenancy should they need to do so.

Landlords will also be asked to join a redress scheme, ensuring all letting agents are members of a client money protection scheme.

The call for evidence follows recent changes which include banning letting fees and capping tenancy deposits.

The package of measures forms part of a £1 billion reform programme to “build a justice system that is fair, straightforward and accessible to all”.

Commenting on the plans, Communities Secretary James 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  will help ensure both tenants and landlords can access justice when they need it – creating a fair housing market that works for everyone.”

 

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