The Government has launched a new service which enables landlords to start the process of evicting tenants using the Section 21 accelerated possession procedure by filling out an online form.
This was an idea which was first put forward by leading tenant eviction firm Landlord Action, as part of its role on a Government Think Tank to help speed up evictions. It is the first step towards making the service completely digital in the future.
Landlord Action first presented to the DCLG (Department for Communities & Local Government), the idea of making Section 21 accelerated possessions easier for landlords to issue. Their experience found that too many landlords, who did not have legal representation, were making mistakes in their applications to court, which then lead to subsequent delays.
It was suggested that accelerated Section 21 applications should be issued online, just like the Section 8 PCOL service (Possession Claim Online). As a result, HMCTS (HM Courts & Tribunals Service) and MoJ (Minitry of Justice) Digital Services have worked together to improve the way an accelerated possession claim can be made, and for the first time, it is possible to complete the N5b form online, then print it out and post along with the tenancy agreement and fee. A system which Landlord Actions says should be much easier for landlords to understand.
Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, says “We are always campaigning to make life easier for landlords, especially through the distressing time of trying to regain possession of a property. We are pleased that the Government has listened to our initial ideas regarding making accelerated possession forms available online, as I really feel it will make a difference.”
The new service is designed so that everyone can use it, with complex legal points explained in plain English and questions that are designed to gather information relevant to each landlord’s situation as well as check their eligibility for making such a claim.
Mr Shamplina concluded: “Our solicitors are dealing with hundreds of claims for landlords seeking possession through Section 8 and Section 21 accelerated claims, where landlords don’t want the hassle of form filling or the risk of getting it wrong. This new online N5b form will go a long way in helping to prevent the most common mistakes landlords make, which often cause costly delays. We also hope that landlords will be empowered by the knowledge that improvements are underway to make possessions quicker and easier in the future”
For advice on this and any other technical aspect pertaining to lettings, please give us a call at Martin & Co on 01603 766860
Martin & Co Norwich
(with thanks to Landlord Action)