The number of evictions is could jump by up to 40,000 to 150,000 next year, a leading expert has predicted as landlords catch up after months of restrictions.
Speaking at the recent Property Investor Show in London during a panel debate led by Russell Quirk, Paul Shamplina told the audience that his company had employed three additional solicitors in recent months as the number of landlords seeking to evict tenants has ramped up.
He also revealed that companies like his and their landlord clients also face two other principle challenges – an ongoing shortage in the number of bailiffs and many potential candidates shun the low pay and high stresses of the sector, and that many tenants are still ‘playing the Covid card’ to delay convictions.
“We had one tenant who delayed his eviction five times by claiming he had Covid before the judge eventually granted a warrant to evict,” said Shamplina.
But nevertheless more and more landlords are moving to both evict tenants and chase them for rent repayment via money orders.
“We received 20 instructions on a single day last week,” said Shamplina, who predicted that England will see 150,000 possession claims going through the already clogged court system, up from 110,000 in 2019.
“The courts are getting better at processing possession cases, but even now the eviction restrictions have been lifted, it will take a landlord the best part of six months to get their property back.”
Russell Quirk (pictured) adds: “Despite headwinds for landlords around regulation, slightly leaner yields and uncertainties deriving from Covid and not to mention the spectre of rising interest rates, the upshot of our panel debate was that landlords should stick with property investing because on balance, they’re still pretty well off.
“Capital appreciation on their portfolios has added over £200bn in value in the last five years and given the that the FTSE 100 and other asset classes have fallen in value recently, property remains, well, ‘safe as houses’ as they say’.”
The panel included Eddie Hooker, CEO of Hamilton Fraser, Marc von Grundherr from Benham & Reeves, Chris Norris from the NRLA and David Cox of Rightmove.