A legal advice service for landlords and their agents says it’s identified several areas with particularly lengthy delays in finding court time for possession cases.
Several factors have contributed to the backlog, including delays caused by the pandemic and funding cuts; and Legal4Landlords says the issue has been made worse because of fears about the Renters Reform Bill forcing landlords to leave the sector.
Then there are further delays due to moves being taken to protect bailiffs’ safety.
Legal4Landlords says it’s “a dire situation” with no signs of improvement.
The worst hit areas are in and around London and specifically Edmonton, Willesden, Croydon, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, Stratford, Central London and Romford.
The service says that, as an example, in Edmonton Initial notices were drafted in August 2022, and possession was requested in December of that year. Bailiffs were appointed in January, but the actual date the bailiffs will evict the tenant is set for December 2023 meaning that the landlord and agent will have been dealing with the problem for 18 months at least.
In Willesden a Section 21 Notice was served in November 2022, and an accelerated application for possession was made in January of this year. Possession was awarded early in March and a bailiff was appointed a few days later. However, the landlord, despite making repeated phone calls and sending copies of relevant paperwork, is still awaiting confirmation of when the bailiff will act.
In Croydon a Section 8 notice was served In February this year. The court application was made in March and the hearing took place in April. Bailiffs were appointed in May but as yet, no date has been set. Rent arrears now stand at £16,000.