Law firm backs landlords campaign to 'get tough' on problem tenants | Knutsford Times

Law firm backs landlords campaign to ‘get tough’ on problem tenants

By on November 1, 2010



A KNUTSFORD law firm is backing calls for the eviction system to be speeded up for residential landlords with trouble tenants.

Mace & Jones, which also has offices in Manchester and Liverpool, said it supports a campaign launched this month by private property landlords’ representatives, highlighting the frustration felt by landlords where there is a clear case of anti-social behaviour or non payment of rent.

Simon Murphy, a partner at Mace & Jones’ Dispute Resolution department, said: “There must be faster court action to protect the rights of landlords and I fully agree with the Rebalancing the Law campaign. This has been backed by the Residential Landlords Association and there is a strong feeling across the North West/the country that now is the time to stand up for the rights of landlords.”

Mr Murphy said: “The eviction process through courts can be painfully drawn out and owners are often left feeling as if they are fighting a losing battle on their own.

“Private landlords need to be aware of the potential issues they face when bringing in new tenants in order to prepare for the worst. The law needs to give landlords greater rights of access. Under current law it is illegal for a landlord to enter a property without permission of the tenant; however, there should be a caveat in the case of problem tenants which gives landlords more rights in these cases.”

Mr Murphy said that court cases can be held up for months if landlords make administration mistakes in completing a Section 21 possession order.

“Errors can be very costly so buy-to-let landlords should ensure that their legal representative is on the ball with this,” he said. “If there is a mistake, tenants can remain in a property without paying rent until the landlord serves a valid notice. This can result in months worth of delays, which can be costly for landlords.”

Mr Murphy said that in the current economic climate private landlords should be concerned not just about getting a tenant, but getting the right tenant.

“Around one third of landlords have been faced with arrears in the last 12 months and there is a certain lack of confidence in the market. However, with the right legal guidance and common sense there is still a good return on investment to be made in buy-to-let.”

For further information on Mace & Jones’ Dispute Resolution services contact: Simon Murphy at Simon.murphy@maceandjones.co.uk or any member of the Mace & Jones Dispute Resolution team in Manchester: 0161 214 0500, Liverpool: 0151 236 8989 or Knutsford: 01565 634234.

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