Possession court delays – still no improvement for ‘a system in crisis’

Paul Shamplina

Private landlords across the UK continue to  grapple with excessive delays in regaining possession of their properties due to inadequacies within the court system.

These delays are exacerbating an already challenging situation for landlords, and with the imminent abolition of Section 21, the situation is set to worsen, warns Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action.

“It’s incredibly disheartening to see landlords facing such prolonged delays in regaining possession of their properties,” said Shamplina. “It’s a system in crisis. The inefficiencies within the court system are causing undue hardship for landlords who simply wish to exercise their legal rights.”

Many landlords are experiencing frustratingly long waits just to secure a court date, let alone obtain possession orders. Once possession is granted, further delays occur in receiving the crucial sealed court order necessary to proceed with bailiff eviction. Bailiffs will not schedule an eviction appointment until landlords possess the sealed order, adding yet another layer of delay and frustration to an already protracted process.

Furthermore, even after obtaining the necessary documentation, Shamplina says landlords are being met with additional setbacks as they are informed of unavailability in bailiff appointment slots for months ahead. This backlog in bailiff appointments adds insult to injury for landlords who have already endured extensive waiting periods within the court system.

The implications of these delays are severe, particularly for landlords who have tenants that have already stopped paying rent or are causing anti-social behaviour.

Shamplina continued: “It is important to point out that these are also not Section 21 no fault evictions where perhaps the landlord wants to sell, they are Section 8 evictions which have been brought to court because the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement and the judge has granted possession. Yet landlords are still being forced to wait months and months to get their properties back.”

He states that the imbalance between the rights of landlords and tenants is becoming increasingly apparent, with landlords bearing the brunt of administrative inefficiencies.

The impending abolition of Section 21, which provides landlords with a no-fault eviction option, is poised to exacerbate these issues further. Without adequate resources allocated to the court system, the backlog of possession cases is likely to escalate, leaving both landlords and tenants in limbo.

Landlords simply want the government to address these systemic issues promptly to ensure a fair and efficient resolution process for all parties involved, according to Shamplina.

He added: “Surely, it’s time for substantive reforms, including the option for landlords to employ High Court Enforcement Officers in cases of significant arrears exceeding six months, mitigating the backlog and ensuring a balanced, effective resolution mechanism for both landlords and tenants.

“Despite the severity of the situation, this is still not happening frequently enough. Landlords deserve a judicial system that operates with transparency, accountability, and timely efficiency, yet the current situation is the most dire we’ve encountered at Landlord Action.”



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  1. CSM

    Over a year to get a possession order, tenant just laughed and said he’d wait till we got a sealed court order and a date for a bailiff – still waiting for this . Its not just lost rent, its the additional court costs for a system that patently doesn’t work and the cost to repair all the damage once he is finally out. The system is broken.

    I think the sharp increase is Section 21 orders has far more to do with people not wishing to engage with a broken court system than anything else. The bank doesn’t care my tenant stopped paying long ago, it still wants it’s money and my chances of recovery of my costs and lost rent are slim to nil. To be honest I sometimes wonder why any tenant pays their rent. Failure to do so has no real consequences. You can try for a CCJ but you have to find where they went to register it against their name.

    People are playing the system and the system is letting them win.

  2. MrManyUnits

    I know I keep harping on about it, but two property owning guarantors is my instructions to Agents, it’s on my email signature line, better an empty property than a bad tenant.


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