Court wait times must be reduced urgently to avoid further disruption in the post-Covid PRS, says the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

Its research shows an 80% drop in possession claims between April 2020 and March 2021 – down to 22,700 – compared with 2019. Landlords made fewer total claims across those 12 months than they did in any three-month period prior to April 2020.

The Wait of Justice 2021: how Covid legislation affected possession report is drawn from Ministry of Justice responses to Freedom of Information requests, and shows that in Q1 2019 the mean average wait time for a landlord’s possession order to be issued was about seven to 10 weeks. In contrast, by Q1 2021, the average wait time had risen to between 15-18 weeks.

The NRLA believes the problem can best be solved by either adapting or ending administrative reforms introduced during the pandemic so that typical waiting times for a substantive hearing are reduced.

But it says the research also illustrates the need for a comprehensive package of financial measures to help tenants pay off rent arrears accrued during the pandemic.


While these findings show how landlords and tenants have responded with admirable resolve in the face of unprecedented challenges across the sector, they also reveal the dysfunction which continues to lie at the heart of the court system across England and Wales, says chief executive Ben Beadle (pictured).

“The majority of landlords have complied with the government’s requests to show understanding during a time of national crisis,” says Beadle.

“Now is the time to respond to landlords’ concerns about the future of the PRS by introducing a package of financial assistance that will provide greater security to many landlords and tenants over the long term.”


  1. Got nothing to do with CV19.

    The County Court system has been dysfunctional for over 13 years.

    It takes roughly 10 months to evict.

    Will take over 2 years now.

    Govt will not do anything to assist LL to repossess.

    It is not in Govt interest to do so.

    Once a LL evicts the problem of the former tenant becomes a very expensive on for the local council.

    Govt will wish to avail themselves of the free accommodation LL have and are still providing much to their chagrin!!

    Govt policy has in effect been a massive bank raid on LL finances at NO electoral disadvantage to the Govt.

    So whilst Govt might be technically ending the eviction ban the deliberately continuing dysfunctional repossession processes will be maintained to frustrate the efforts of LL to achieve repossession.

    For Govt the longer period it can prevent evictions the better for Govt finances.

    Though Govt always seems to forget the tax loss on defaulted rents.

    Though of course they have S24 taxes based on ‘mortgage interest income’ irrespective of whether rent is paid!!!!

  2. Yes, agreed obviously it is a dysfunctional court system aggravated by Covid-19. But the underlying reason is this clapped out bunch of politicians wants to destroy the private rental sector and replace it with a corporate rental sector – their mates mainly.

    • Yep absolutely your contentions especially the last one are totally correct.

      There however remains a total disconnect from reality.

      BTR even if deemed to be the answer will take over 100 years to equal the current small LL supply.

      So whilst getting rid of private LL who is going to house tenants until sufficient BTR properties become available?

      There is no doubt that the continuing and increasing attacks on small LL will continue their exodus from the PRS AST market.

      Doing this must be unviable as in the meantime before BTR is fully available where are all the tenants supposed to live!?

      I do believe that this idiot Govt magically believes that tenants will become OO as though it was LL ownership of properties that was preventing tenants from buying!!!!

      Clearly incorrect.

      There is clearly lack of joined up Govt thinking.

      I believe Govt knows what it is doing but just prefers not to consider what happens to tenants when LL withdraw from the AST PRS.

      In short it care notbing for what happens to tenants when LL withdraw from the PRS.

      One only has to see that out of 7000 properties available in the West Country only 62 were available for AST lettings.

      All the others were AirBnB!!!


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