Accelerated possessions at an all-time high
The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice show that evictions last year reached a record high of 42,728.
Overall possession claims fell during the year to 148,043, however the number of accelerated possession cases continued their upward trend reaching 37,663 in 2015, up 4.5% on 2014 and up 10.5% on 2013.
According to the figures from the Ministry of Justice; the proportion of claims made using accelerated procedure has increased from 7% in 1999 to 25% in 2015.
Landlord Action has said that reasons for this could include rising house prices, uncertainty over future buy to let tax implications and concerns over increased legislation such as Right to rent and the Deregulation Act which have been the catalysts for many self-managing landlords to consider selling up and they are using Section 21’s as a way to gain possession of their property as quickly as possible.
Also in circumstances where tenants are in arrears, many landlords still opt to use a section 21, instead of Section 8 as they feel they won’t be able to collect rent arrears so this allows them automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds (reasons) once the fixed term has expired.
“A section 21 usually enables landlords to gain possession much quicker on a no-fault basis, so they can re-let the property, which is often more financially viable than chasing arrears. I believe use of the Section 21 process for landlords will continue to grow year on year because of councils’ pushing the problem back onto private rental sector landlords” said Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action.
Paul Routledge commented; “There is really only one way to protect yourself in these circumstances and that is to properly reference the tenants at the outset and then make sure you are covered with a solid Rent Guarantee Insurance so that even if the best tenants turn bad you are protected. This is why we have strived to continuously to give landlords the best deal to incentivise them to do the best referencing and take out the rent guarantee. Our £100 package has to be the best deal ever to protect landlords against problems of problematic tenants in the future.”