It will benefit many landlords in the private rented sector and save legal costs without adversely affecting protection for tenants.
At the moment if a landlord under an assured tenancy (including an assured shorthold tenancy) wants to use certain mandatory grounds (i.e. grounds when the Court must order possession) a Court order has to be obtained involving a personal appearance at Court. On the other hand where Section 21 procedure is used there is a paper procedure available. There used to be a paper procedure available in equivalent Rent Act cases e.g. when an owner/occupier wants to regain possession. The Residential Landlords Association believes this paper procedure should be introduced for these cases including Ground 8 based on rent arrears (exceeding 2 months). This would avoid the need for Hearings unless the claim was contested. As with the current Section 21 procedure should the tenant file a meaningful Defence to the case then it would have to be listed for hearing and considered by the Judge. If not contested the possession order could be made by the Judge “on paper” without a Hearing. This would save time and costs. This is particularly so as County Courts face cutbacks both in number and staff. Landlords at the moment have no option but to follow these procedures.