Housing Secretary unveils proposals for new specialist Housing Court

The Government is consulting on plans to create a new ‘specialist Housing Court’ which would act as a single route for landlords, tenants and agents seeking to resolve property-related disputes.

The proposals, which the Ministry of Housing claims would provide greater access to justice for landlords, tenants and agents alike, would replace the existing system, through which all parties pursue claims through a ‘confusing’ array of County Courts, First-tier Tribunals, Magistrates Courts and other means.

In a Call for Evidence launched in recent days, the Government says that existing processes can be time-consuming for landlords who are trying to repossess a property occupied by problematic tenants.

Similarly, it adds that tenants will often encounter difficulties when making or defending claims against their landlords, and find the process of litigation too confusing.

According to the Government, the introduction of a new specialist Housing Court would help to “build a fairer housing market that works for everyone.”

Unveiling the proposals toward the end of last week, Housing 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,” he added.

“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,” he said.

Further information about the proposed reforms can be accessed on the GOV.UK website here.

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Tony Kent
Tony is Head of the Property Litigation team at Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office, where he has particular expertise in a wide range of property dispute areas, residential and commercial, acting for both landlord and tenant. His team advises on leasehold enfranchisement, rent and service charge recovery, residential and commercial possession proceedings and a variety of other types of litigation, including the recovery of estate agents’ fees and property-related matters.