Fiona Cursons (Student)
In November 2018 The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government requested feedback from court users, the legal profession and the public about whether there was a need for a court specialising in housing issues.
It is said that court, solely dealing with housing matters would reduce delays, make the process easier and make it quicker to get justice in such disputes. The request for this seems to be coming from private landlords, not social lenders or mortgage lenders. Private landlords only make up a small amount of possession cases that get to court so is there a need?
The Burns report commissioned by the ministry for housing stated that there were many factors and issues identified by tenants, as well as landlords, when dealing with possession proceedings. however, it did not advocate the need for a new specialist court.
In addition, the civil justice council responded saying that the creation of a specialist housing court would involve a large commitment of resources which could be better applied to the current process to ensure a satisfactory level of service to all users.
The Court system is already struggling to cope with all areas. Directing resources to one particular area, would obviously involve a diversion of resources from another area. It is difficult to find a valid reason for this when more resources are required across the board. Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC offers free legal advice on housing matters to members of the public. SULAC is currently open and offers appointments at Stoke and Stafford. For more information, or to book an appointment please contact: SULAC@staffs.ac.uk or call 01782 294800