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Landlords 'ill-served' by court possession proceeds
30th May 2012
In today's uncertain economy, receiving rent payments in full and on time each month can be a worry for landlords, as tenants find their finances are squeezed tighter and tighter.
And of course unpaid rent can have serious financial consequences, especially for property owners relying on a regular rental income to pay off their buy-to-let mortgage.
That's why for some it's necessary to take tenants to court to gain possession of the home, yet this can be a lengthy process, not to mention an expensive one.
Tessa Shepperson from landlordlaw.co.uk said landlords are "not well served" when it comes to getting possession claims through the courts in a timely manner.
"This is not just a problem for landlords," she explained. "The courts are seriously underfunded and understaffed and this is causing problems for all types of court claims, not just repossession claims."
So what can landlords do to make the process run more smoothly? Well, they can get their paperwork in order for starters.
"Standard repossessions where the landlord has his paperwork correct should go through without huge delay," Ms Shepperson remarked. "However, if the claim is non-standard and special hearings are required, the current problems with the courts will generally result in long delays.
"It is essential therefore that landlords take care to get their paperwork in order before issuing, and I would recommend that only mandatory grounds for possession be used as the courts are used to these and they move through the system fairly easily."
There is something else that landlords can do to ease the burden of unpaid rent, and that is to take out rent guarantee insurance, which will provide cover for lost rental income and the legal expenses incurred for repossession.
Policies can also cover dilapidation costs, as long as they are contained within a dilapidation inventory.
Posted by Simon Hayes