The cost of evicting a tenant is set top rocket in line with a general increase in court fees.
From April 22, 2014, court fees will see a hike of up to 60%.
The fee for a serving a Section 8 notice and accelerated Section 21 notices will go up from £175 to £280.
The Possession Claim Online service will process the notices for £250 – up from £100.
The discount margin has shrunk from £75 to just £25 and offers little incentive to landlords to use the service.
The Ministry of Justice claims the fees reflect the cost of the work the courts must carry out to issue the notices and are fair and reasonable.
A ministry spokesman also pointed out that landlords can ask for costs to be awarded against the tenant if their application is successful.
All landlord court fees are rising, excluding a warrant of possession needing a bailiff. This charge remains at £100.
Lawyers argue that landlords are unlikely to recover their costs as the tenant is probably in financial difficulties that led to rent arrears which trigger many repossession proceedings any way.
An order for costs is not a county court judgment, so does not go on the tenant’s credit history, giving little incentive to fork out the cash.
Most legal firms acting to repossess a rented home will pass the costs on to the landlord who will have little choice other than to write the money off as a bad debt in their rental accounts.
Unfortunately, landlords seeking possession orders are unlikely to benefit from the current lower fees as they only have a couple of days to prepare and file papers before the courts.