Homeless charity Shelter has hit out at the record number of evictions of families renting private homes.
The charity claims repossession rates by landlords have risen sharply in recent years – comparing the figures with those of some years ago.
However, the charity fails to point out that in that time, the number of private rented homes has tripled from around a million to more than 3 million, so eviction figures are likely to increase with rise of buy to let.
Ministry of Justice statistics show nearly 38,000 tenants had their homes repossessed last year.
The figures also revealed landlord possession claims have also increased to 170,451 in 2013, the highest since 2004, the official figures showed
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, criticised landlords for putting so many claims before the courts.
“The high cost of housing, rising living costs, and job insecurity are already making it incredibly tough for ordinary families. Behind these figures is the reality that just one thing, like an illness or redundancy, can be all it takes to tip anyone into a downward spiral that puts their home at risk,” he said.
“In times like these there’s no shame in struggling. I’d urge anyone who is, to get advice today from an organisation like Shelter. Expert help early on gives you the best possible chance of keeping your home.”
While landlord possession claims increased, the number of homes repossessed by mortgage lenders last year was the lowest in a decade.
In cases that went to court, the keys of 12,147 were handed back by owners between October and December last year.
The Ministry of Justice explained that low interest rates and a “proactive approach from lenders in managing consumers in financial difficulty” had kept the figures down.