Evictions by landlords have begun to ramp up now that almost all the court and bailiff restrictions have been lifted, latest official figures show, but landlords are still having to wait 60 weeks on average to gain possession.
This is an increase from 19.6 weeks during the same period before the pandemic.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) says that between April and June this year, possession claims jumped from 3,023 to 7,000 year-on-year (2020 vs 2021); orders from 656 to 5431; warrants from 274 to 3,709 and repossessions from zero to 1516.
But, when compared to the same quarter in 2019, these actions have decreased by 74%, 75%, 73% and 80% respectively.
This latest data reveals how the delays and complications of evicting tenants unless they have been in serious rent arrears – has been preventing the surge in evictions that had been predicted by some commentators.
But campaign group Generation Rent says many tenants are still facing eviction.
“There are thousands more who have lost work and got behind on their rent during the pandemic, and will find it difficult to repay that, even if their income recovers,” says Director Alicia Kennedy (pictured).
“It is almost impossible to move to a new home if you’re relying on benefits, so these renters face huge uncertainty in the months ahead while they wait to be told when the bailiffs will arrive.
“Only a Covid Rent Debt Fund to clear these rent arrears will help renters back to their feet and remove the threat of homelessness from thousands of families. The government must act urgently to relieve this hardship.”