Rental reform effectiveness hinges on court improvements, NRLA tells Parliament

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has emphasised to Members of Parliament that the success of proposed rental reforms is contingent upon simultaneous enhancements to the court system.

NRLA’s chief executive Ben Beadle, testifying on the Renters (Reform) Bill, expressed concern over the sluggish pace of court reforms.

In his address, Beadle highlighted the necessity for a dependable court system to process possession claims and called for explicit timelines on case processing. He stressed the importance of a ‘digitised’ court system and the urgent need for substantial investment in court staffing.

Recent statistics from the Ministry of Justice reveal a concerning delay—over half a year—in processing legitimate possession claims by private landlords. Beadle warned that the abolition of section 21, without a parallel system for legitimate claims, could exacerbate tenant difficulties and influence landlords’ decisions to remain in the rental market.

The NRLA’s intervention comes amid a supply and demand crisis in the private rental sector, as corroborated by the latest RICS figures presented by Theresa Wallace from the Lettings Industry Council.

Beadle underscored the imperative for the Renters Reform Bill to maintain a fair equilibrium between tenant and landlord interests to enhance the private rented sector effectively.

Parliamentary committees will continue reviewing the Bill throughout the week. Responding to the day’s hearings, Beadle urged the government not to overlook the critical role of court reforms, stating, “With the market facing significant instability, the Government simply can’t afford to ignore the need for court reform.”