The Minsitry of Justice has blamed a 23% jump in the number of private landlord possession during the first three months of the year on the Welsh PRS reforms, although volumes are still below pre-Covid levels.
Quarterly figures from the Ministry of Justice show that claims increased from 19,031 to 23,395 (23%), orders from 12,966 to 17,660 (36%), warrants from 6,874 to 10,469 (52%) and repossessions from 3,809 to 6,421 (69%) compared with the same quarter in 2022.
The highest private landlord possession claim rates were seen in London.
Possession claims now sit at 77% of their pre-Covid baselines, mainly driven by private and accelerated claims. This increase was particularly noticeable in Wales where the accelerated procedure for claims, orders and warrants increased by 236%, 249% and 275% respectively.
For England this increase was 16%, 46% and 95% respectively. The MoJ says landlords exiting the sector due to the Renting Homes (Wales) Act - with more changes set to come in from June 2023 '� was probably behind the rise.
Despite the increase in volumes, the civil court is managing demand, according to the government, which reports that the median average time from claim to landlord repossession is now 22.3 weeks, down from 27.3 weeks in the same period last year.
However, the Law Society of England and Wales warns that 25.3 million people (42%) do not have access to a local legal aid provider for housing advice.
President Lubna Shuja says it's extremely concerned that the government is struggling to attract bids for its new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service scheme.
'Unless we see significant and immediate investment across the legal aid system including housing, more of these schemes will collapse leaving people without help when they need it,'� she adds.