Landlord possession actions dropped significantly during the months after the bailiff eviction ban ended compared with pre-Covid times, new government figures show.

Despite warnings of a tsunami of evictions from housing and tenant groups such as Generation Rent, the latest Ministry of Justice statistics for July to September 2021 tell a different story after the evictions ban ended at the end of May.

Compared with 2019, landlord claims (10,202), possession orders (5,600), warrants (4,492) and repossessions (4,853) by county court bailiffs fell by 64%, 75%, 69% and 35% respectively.

The median average time from claim to landlord repossession has risen to 68.4 weeks, up from 20.1 weeks in the same period in 2019.

Private landlord claims account for the largest proportion of total landlord activity, with 43% in Q3 2021 compared with pre-Covid-19 trends where the majority were social landlord claims.

Across all regions

The fall in claim and orders volumes was seen across all geographical regions. As in previous quarters, there was a concentration in London, with 2,712 landlord claims and 1,537 landlord orders in the capital’s courts in July to September 2021, accounting for 27% of all landlord possession claims and orders respectively.

Despite this, there was still a fall of 59% (from 6,638) for landlord claims and a decrease of 67% for landlord orders (from 4,724 in July to September 2019).

The largest regional number of landlord warrants (1,410) was found in London, making up 31% of all landlord warrants. Despite this, there was a decrease of 60% in the capital (from 3,542 in 2019 to 1,410 in 2021).

The MoJ says it expects to see a continued increase in volume across all actions as the courts continue to manage the backlog while also dealing with new cases.


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