Landlords seeking to evict tenants face more delays when Section 21 notices are abolished, warns the boss of an insurance and referencing firm.
Clogged courts and a shortage of judges and county-court bailiffs mean that cases are taking months to be heard, it is claimed.
'Imagine the frustration of waiting month after month for a hearing and then, when possession is granted, having several more months of grief as you wait for a court-appointed bailiff,'� says Sim Sekhon (main pic), MD of LegalforLandlords.
'Landlords' income has taken a massive hit, they may be in real financial difficulties themselves, but they remain at the mercy of an underfunded system.'�
He believes that while housing charities spread stories about disreputable landlords, they make scant, if any, mention that some tenants are fully able to pay but deliberately exploiting the clogged legal system.
London is probably the worst affected, where some landlords can wait up to eight months for a hearing, particularly in Clerkenwell & Shoreditch, Barnet, Chelmsford, Central London, Willesden and Stratford Housing Court.
Plans to abolish Section 21 could make the situation even more difficult, says Sekhon, who reckons the nightmare will only get worse when every eviction requires a court hearing.
'Sometimes the landlord has made an error in the prescribed information or has failed to sort out a maintenance issue with the property,'� he adds.
'However minor, these things can be enough to stop proceedings in their tracks. For the landlord hoping to regain possession, find a new tenant, settle the debts he's accrued or catch up on buy-to-let mortgage payments, the misery goes on.'�