In a move that has been described by the Civil Justice Council as “a tax on litigation”, HM Courts and Tribunals Service have announced that many Court fees will be significantly increased from 22 April 2014.
The fees for possession proceedings are subject to some of the highest increases with the fees for claims issued via the Court’s Possession Claims Online (PCOL) system to suffer a staggering rise from £100 to £250 and the fee for paper based claims to see a rise of in excess of 60% from £175 to £280.
There is a catalogue of other significant increases, which can be viewed on the court website. It has been approximated that all of the increases will boost Court revenue by approximately £200m.
Understandably there has been much criticism of the increases, which will undoubtedly considerably add to the cost of accessing justice for litigants.
Landlords may feel particularly hit in light of the need for a court order to recover possession, and especially since many local authorities will not re-house tenants until they have been formally evicted.