Court delays cost landlords dear

first_imgUnder-resourced county courts are still struggling to cope with the number of possession claims being put forward, resulting in costly delays for landlords and agents, according to Landlord Action.Most residential possession claims are dealt with in the county courts and enforced by county court bailiffs. But with a lack of trained staff available, the tenant eviction service claims that many county courts are now operating call centres where temporary members of staff, with little or no experience, are being appointed to process claims and correspondence, resulting in further possession delays.In a recent routine phone call to follow up a case, an operator informed Julie Herbert (left), Head of Legal at Landlord Action, that there were just six people in one call centre dealing with calls and paperwork relating to 55 different courts.“It is evident that those at the call centre are not qualified to be able to differentiate between correspondence that can sit on a file, and correspondence that needs the urgent attention of a Judge in order for a case to progress. We have had numerous incidents where court staff appear to be opening post, filing it and doing little about it, adding to the problem even further” said Herbert.Staff shortages have been caused in part by Government spending cuts while an enforcement by some courts that bailiffs must no longer act alone, only in pairs, have combined to create serious delays in the eviction process.Landlord Action has also expressed concern that more planned court closures and the introduction of the recent Deregulation Act will likely see a surge in more cases jamming up the system and resulting in even longer delays.Herbert, who now wants to see fresh measures introduced to help improve the system, added, “When correspondence is received by the court, it needs to be looked at by someone who is capable of deciding whether the item of correspondence requires any action. If they are going to close courts, they need to transfer some of those qualified members of staff to these call centres. Alternatively, train up more qualified staff so that they have a legal understanding of each item of correspondence which the court receives. It can then be processed saving numerous calls from practitioners chasing them up.”Landlord Action is now calling for fewer applicants, particularly those which have no merit, to be given a hearing in an effort to help reduce losses to landlords and cut the strain on court resources.“If judges actually got to see these applications in the first instance, decisions could be made on most without the need for a hearing,” Herbert concluded.possession claims residential possession claims Landlord Action court delays under-resourced county courts 2015-12-04The Negotiator Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 Lawyer leading RICS governance probe asks members to help with evidence30th April 2021What’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Home » News » Regulation & Law » Court delays cost landlords dear Court delays cost landlords dear4th December 20150843 Viewslast_img read more