Private Landlords Unfairly Criticised For Evictions

According to official data, buy-to-let landlords have an unfair reputation for going to the courts to evict tenants.

Housing charities, councils and tenants often claim private landlords are keen to resort to the courts to evict tenants who complain about repairs. Still, figures from the Ministry of Justice refute the anecdotal claims.

The report reveals that 38,053 possession claims were made to the courts in the year's first three months.

The number of claims was 10% down on the same quarter of 2015 and 2% down quarter-on-quarter when seasonally adjusted.

The statistics split the claims into possession and accelerated possession claims and then divided them into claims made by social landlords and private landlords for possession claims.

A total of 23,970 possession claims were made by social landlords (63%), and 5,201 (14%) were taken to the courts by private landlords.

The courts heard another 8,882 accelerated claims. The statistics do not break this figure down for social and private landlords.

The court action resulted in 29,049 possession orders. Bailiffs dealt with 19,728 possession warrants which resulted in 10,968 homes being repossessed.

The Ministry of Justice report shows the number of orders, warrants and repossessions taken by bailiffs was down on the same period in 2015.

Greater London accounted for 16 out of the 20 council areas, with the most possession claims going before the courts.

Barking and Dagenham topped the table with 560 claims for every 100,000 homes.

Outside London, Luton, Liverpool, Peterborough and Slough comprised the rest of the Top 20 boroughs.

Hart, Hampshire, had the lowest rate of landlord claims – 24 for every 100,000 homes, which was 23 times lower than Barking and Dagenham.

The report also points out that landlord claims peaked in Q1 2015, and many of the orders made then are working their way through the system and inflating the current figures.

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Applying to the Court for Rent Arrears Only

If it is not necessary to obtain possession, a landlord may wish to make a claim under the terms of the tenancy agreement for debt using the small claims procedure of the County Court. The amount awarded by the court will be determined at the trial date. If a claim is being made for interest on arrears, this must be stated on the claim form because interest will not automatically be added to the debt. If the sum is cleared and further arrears arise, it will be necessary to submit an additional claim.

Applying to Court for Possession — Standard Procedure

Learn when to make an application to the court using the Possession Claims Online Service (PCOL) or using forms N5 and N119 with our step-by-step guide.