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'Court reform delays mean binnng Section 21 must be reconsidered'

court reforms

The Government has delayed its already-announced court reform plans, making it even less likely that the legal system will be ready to take on the extra work created by banning Section 21 evictions, it has been claimed.

The government’s timetable for civil reform including digitisation of many processes has been put back to March 2025 which it says will help get the technology right, integrate systems, and give it time to adjust to new ways of working.

Reforms include digitising warrants of control to enforce County Court Judgments, while all other civil enforcement changes will be dropped.

The Law Society of England and Wales says while the department is making sensible decisions about prioritising work, proper investment in the justice system rather than decades of cuts would have meant the court service wouldn’t be in this difficult situation.

As part of a project on possession, the government has said it wants to simplify the process, improve engagement between parties and HMCTS and digitise the end-to-end service for all claims.

Law Society president Nick Emmerson says extending plans in the civil, family and tribunals to March 2025 means the process may take longer to develop but will avoid costly errors and rework in the long run. He says it makes no sense to digitise the existing process when you are about to fundamentally change it.

It makes no sense to digitise the existing process when you are about to fundamentally change it.

However, Emmerson adds: “The UK government has previously indicated that it intended to defer the implementation of the abolition of no-fault eviction until after the digitisation of the existing court process. We would welcome clarification that the government has now recognised that this approach should be reconsidered.”

A DLUHC spokesman tells LandlordZONE: “We are confident that the court system will be ready for the Renters Reform Bill, which will bring the most significant reforms to tenancy law in three decades. It is right that the courts are ready to give tenants and landlords swift and effective access to justice.”


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