Justice is not devolved, so much of the NRLA's work on this is England & Wales-wide. However, NRLA Wales ensures the arguments are heard by Welsh politicans who can represent the views of landlords to colleagues in the UK Government and Westminster Parliament.
It is essential landlords have means of repossessing their property in legitimate circumstances and for tenants to hold bad landlords to account. The current court system is far too slow, so it is vital a new dedicated housing court is established whether or not justice is devolved.
We believe a dedicated housing court should be established, whether that is for England & Wales or just Wales. This will deliver swifter justice for landlords to legitimately repossess their property and tenants to hold their landlord to account, saving money and sparing prolonged emotional distress. It is essential that serious and violent cases can be dealt more speedily by courts without having to focus on housing disputes.
The NRLA is calling for wholesale reform of the justice system. We believe the only way to solve these delays is to introduce a specialist low-cost housing court with judges who are experts in housing law. This would not only improve the experience for landlords but it would allow tenants to feel comfortable seeking redress from the few landlords failing to meet their obligations.
Similarly, landlords should not have to face a five month delay in regaining possession of their property when their tenant is anti-social or in serious rent arrears.
The idea of a such a housing court is backed by UK Parliament (2017-19) Housing, Communities & Local Government Committee (composed of six Labour MPs and five Conservative MPs, chaired by Clive Betts (Labour)), Shelter Cymru and the Chartered Institute for Housing.
The wait for bailiffs is far too long. In some areas of the country it can take over a year for a bailiff to visit the property after the landlord has applied to court. We have made the case to the Government that the bailiff service must be improved so it becomes as efficient and effective as the High Court Enforcement Officers. We also strongly call on an end to further possession reform unless these serious issues can be resolved or risk a complete loss of trust by PRS landlords who will abandon the sector.
- Improved and speedier financial redress for both landlords and tenants, ensuring less money is wasted and investments lost.
- Less emotional upheaval for those wronged with a justice system that does not drag on and is staffed by those with expertise in housing law.
- More resources for the courts to deliver justice to victims of serious and violent crimes as the workload from housing disputes reduces.
This piece looks at the rate and pace of possession action in the various regions England immediately prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The results are drawn from a series of freedom of information requests.
Last Updated: 08/01/2021
Last Updated: 10/11/2020
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Calum DaviesWelsh Policy & Public Affairs Officer.
Calum Davies is the Policy & Public Affairs Officer for NRLA Wales. After working in communications and research for a political party in the Welsh Parliament, Calum moved to the NRLA to promote the work of the Association to members, politicians, and stakeholders in Wales.
He ensures they are aware of landlord interests when they legislate and regulate in the PRS, helps run the Cardiff Landlord Forum, and develops policy and organises events for NRLA Wales.