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Court costs for landlords 'will keep on rising' predicts lawyer

court costs david smith

It’s almost inevitable that court fees will have to rise considerably, and probably sooner than 2025/6 unless alternative funding is added direct from the Treasury, according to property lawyer David Smith (main image) of JMW.

Landlords in England and Wales will soon find fees for claiming possession of their property increasing by 10% to £391 from next month, while instructing a bailiff to enforce a possession order will rise by 10%, to £143.

The government will review court fees every two years to create a more incremental rise, explains Smith. “They will therefore look to do so again in 2025 with a rise to come in in 2026. They have been careful to also say that they are not committing to doing this and will potentially raise fees at other intervals as necessary. None of this is binding on any future government of course.”

Poor standards

The government justifies the increases as necessary to allow for more investment in the courts. However, respondents to its recent consultation complained that service standards were poor in the courts and that simply raising fees wasn’t likely to deal with the problem of underinvestment.

“The government has not really responded to this, other than to say that the fee increases are expected to raise between £30 and £37 million and that they are investing in new systems and recruiting more judges,” says Smith.

“I doubt that these statements will mollify landlords waiting three or more months for a possession hearing to be listed or waiting six months or more for a possession order to be actioned by a court bailiff.”

He adds: “It is frustrating that with so little improvement demonstrated so far, the government considers it appropriate to make such a substantial increase.”

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David smith