Last week on the 13th November 2018 a publication called “A qualitative research investigation of the factors influencing the progress, timescales and outcomes of housing cases in county courts” was published. It is a research study that was undertaken in order to understand tenants’ and landlords’ experience of the county courts and First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and to identify issues that may be deterring them from exercising their rights effectively. The research consisted of individual depth interviews with stakeholders from the judiciary, legal profession, advice providers, legal aid/pro bono providers, landlord representatives and tenant representatives and individual private landlord and tenant interviews.
On the same day there was a press release from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government calling for a consultation to take place on whether or not a dedicated housing court should be considered. This call for evidence seeks views and opinions from the judiciary, landlords and tenants to help the government to better understand and improve the experience of people using courts and tribunal services in property cases, including considering the case for a specialist Housing Court.
They are interested in views and opinions on the:
- private landlord possession action process in the county court
- user experience in both the county courts and the First-tier Tribunal for property cases
- case for a new Housing Court
- case for other structural changes such as an extension of the remit of the property tribunal
You can read the press release here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/considering-the-case-for-a-housing-court-call-for-evidence and the copy of the consultation document here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/755326/Considering_the_case_for_a_housing_court.pdf. If you would like to contribute to the consultation you can fill out the online form here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H52PC8P. If you prefer you can email or write and the details are in the press release.
We will be compiling our response over the coming months and if you would like to provide information to assist us then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts on the subject. So to ensure it reaches the correct person could you please add the words ‘housing court consultation’ in the subject box of the email. Agents or landlords are welcome to email in.