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.

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Eviction restriction

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.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. The figures quoted are very misleading.

    Between April and June this year, possession claims didn’t increase from 3023 to 7000.
    That’s the increase between April/June 2020 and April/June 2021.
    The same error applies to the other figures quoted in that paragraph.

    The increase from April to June isn’t published by the government, but there were 6376 possession claims from January to March 2021, so there’s hardly been any increase at all in April – June 2021. There has been a more significant increase in the number of evictions by county court bailiffs, from 269 to 1516 (which makes sense because there were very few evictions possible prior to May 1st).

    And, of course, the time taken to retake possession has massively increased, possessions were virtually all suspended between March 2020 and April 2021, so almost everyone obtaining a possession order prior to March 2020 would face a minimum of 60 weeks delay before it could possibly take place. That would skew the average significantly.

    The more interesting point about the figures is that the wave of evictions predicted after the stay in bailiffs executing warrants simply hasn’t happened. That might be because of the length of notice periods as a result of the pandemic.

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