Tory MP and former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers (main picture) has warned her own Government that the ongoing delays within the court system risk persuading more landlords to leave the sector and worsen the already acute rented home supply problem.
Speaking during the debate following the historic King’s Speech to parliament yesterday she said that although it was right that the Government legislate to help renters and encourage more stable and longer-term tenancies, “we also need to remember that landlords play a crucial role as housing providers," she said.
“We should absolutely be tough on bad landlords, but we do not want to end up unfairly penalising the whole sector when a majority of landlords look after their tenants and their properties, and act responsibly.
“Sadly, a number of landlords are already leaving the sector and selling their properties.
“We must ensure that we do not inadvertently intensify that and jeopardise the good rental stock available.
“Key to that is ensuring that the removal of section 21 is accompanied by a major improvement in the way the courts system operates.
“My constituent Paul Shamplina, the founder of the solicitors firm Landlord Action, believes that delays are worse than he has experienced in his 33 years in the sector.”
Villiers went on to say that she had been told that three bailiff applications with Willesden court had taken six months to be issued while in Swindon, it took three months to send a notice of issue for a basic eviction claim.
She also revealed that in the Central London county court it recently took seven months to appoint a bailiff and grant transfer to the High Court for enforcement.
“Other constituents have told me about bailiff delays in removing tenants who have not paid rent for many months,” she added.
Shamplina (pictured), who has twice met Villiers to make the case that Section 21 evictions cannot be banned until landlords have confidence in the courts, tells LandlordZONE: “My discussions with Theresa, who is my local MP, is an example of how important it is that landlords engage with their local MP if they feel Government PRS policies and in particular its plans to abolish Section 21 evictions, are affecting them adversely.
“Ten months ago, when I first met Theresa at her constituency office, I highlighted the rental supply crisis facing many tenants s more landlords than usual leave the sector and since then this problem has grown exponentially.
“I am pleased that she has given some of our real-life court delays case studies an airing in parliament – but who knows how long it will take to get these horrendous case backlogs cleared and the courts system working properly.”