New housing court to settle landlord disputes with tenants

Proposals for a new housing court to speed up settling disputes between landlords and tenants in England have been revealed by Communities secretary James Brokenshire.

The minister is calling for the court to offer both sides better justice and compensation.

The new court would replace the courts and tribunals that hear different aspects of cases under the current system.

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

“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.”

The consultation – that only applies to England – is asking for the views of landlords, letting agents and other property professionals.

“Tenants, landlords and agents can bring a range of housing issues to the courts or First-tier Tribunal to resolve disputes and enforce their rights,” says the consultation.

“However, concerns have been raised that this does not always work as effectively as it could. Tenants and landlords have suggested that it can be difficult for them to navigate bringing a case to court without support.

“We want to explore ways of reducing delays and improving the service for all users who bring housing cases to the courts and tribunal services.”

Read the consultation document

Brokenshire also confirmed that proposals are on the way that will require landlords to sign up to a redress scheme, such as the Property Redress Scheme.

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